NY-based CRE group pays $18.9M to enter Orlando hotel market near MCO

Affiliates of New York-based commercial property investor The Crest Group paid a recorded $18.9 million on Thursday to enter Orlando's hotel market, buying the 135-key Staybrige Suites Airport South.

Located at 7450 Augusta National Dr., just northeast of the intersection of Semoran Boulevard and the Beachline Expressway leading into Orlando International Airport, the three-story hotel dates to 1999 and was renovated in 2016. 

The taxes paid reflect a sale value of $140,000 per key, but true sale value may have been higher with an FF&E allocation. 

The real estate investment and development group has holdings in the New York metro area, Michigan and Florida. This is not Crest's first hotel acquisition overall, but is its first in the Sunshine State. 

"As a company, we are looking to expand in Orlando and Southern Florida," Managing Partner Enrico Scarda told GrowthSpotter on Friday. "We are interested in other CRE value-add deals." 

Crest's two affiliates involved in the purchase sourced a $13.1 million mortgage from Wells Fargo Bank. 

The seller was 7450 Augusta, LP, an affiliate of Coral Gables-based Driftwood Hospitality Management, which previously paid a recorded $9.25 million in February 2014. 

The buyer retained Driftwood Hospitality as property manager, "because of their experience, expertise and proven track record," Scarda said. 

Crest is retaining the IHG flag, and intends to renovate the interior and exterior of the hotel in the coming months, he added. Scarda declined to comment on the estimated value of the Property Improvement Plan.

Driftwood still owns and/or manages three other hotel properties in Greater Orlando, per its website portfolio page. Officials with the company could not be reached for comment on Friday. 

CBRE's Paul Weimer, Christian Charre and Natalie Castillo represented the seller. 

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