To be located at 5532 Butler National Dr., the 2.52-acre site lies along the west side of S. Semoran Boulevard and 2.2 miles north of the airport entrance.
The developer filed a Master Plan amendment last week with the city of Orlando for a new six-story, 164-keyTowneplace Suites, with surface parking and amenities limited to an outdoor pool/deck and outdoor seating area.
"Our main draw (to the site) was proximity to the airport, record highs for air travel through Orlando, and the fact that hotel occupancy around the airport has been statistically very high for the last few years," Sandip Patel, director of business development for Southern Hospitality, told GrowthSpotter on Friday.
"This site gives us visibility on Semoran Boulevard," he continued. "Select service is our specialty, and getting the Marriott flag was just icing on the cake."
Southern Hospitality has the site under contract with a deposit that has not gone hard yet, and is in the midst of due diligence while the property owner pursues replatting, Patel said. He anticipates a closing some time in the second quarter.
The hotel would lie directly west of an existing small retail strip center and fuel station, and occupy what was formerly a parking lot for the now closed Xpress Airport Parking.
The land owner and prospective seller is Orlando-based Omega Land Development Corp., which previously paid $2.64 million in 1999 for the then-undeveloped 8.26 acres. President Henry Nieves built a small retail strip center and fuel station one year later on the Semoran Boulevard frontage, which will be subdivided in the coming months in conjunction with sale of the balance of land to Southern Hospitality.
Total project cost is currently estimated around $23 million, Patel said, and the company is exploring various financing options to add to its equity investment. A general contractor search has not started yet for the project.
The overall strength of Orlando's economy and hotel market is pushing Southern Hospitality to streamline this project and start construction in the fourth quarter or Q1 2019, Patel said.
The developer is also in the midst of building neighboring Aloft and Holiday Inn Express hotels in the Lake Buena Vista submarket, each averaging 141 keys.
The HIE is in vertical construction now with completion targeted for this fall, and site work is expected to start on the Aloft in the second quarter, GrowthSpotterfirst reported in early November.
Z Development Services is civil engineer on the Towneplace Suites project and Base4 is the architect. Southern Hospitality serves as its own property manager.