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Local owner-operator pays $8.6M for I-Drive hotel, seeks more in tourism corridor

Highlighted in blue, the La Quinta Inn property on Jamaican Court was recently bought by a local hotel owner-operator.
Highlighted in blue, the La Quinta Inn property on Jamaican Court was recently bought by a local hotel owner-operator. (Orange County Property Appraiser)

Local owner-operator Sun Vista Hotels bought their way back onto International Drive last week after selling an asset there last year, paying $8.636 million on April 27 for the La Quinta Inn at 8300 Jamaican Court.

The group will invest another $2.5 million in extensive cosmetic renovations this year, and is actively seeking more value-add acquisition opportunities in the tourism corridor, the company's lead executive told GrowthSpotter.

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Located roughly two blocks south of Mango's Tropical Cafe and the intersection of I-Drive and Sand Lake Road, the four-story, 200-key hotel was built in 1985, and lies on 3.95 acres. Sun Vista paid $43,180 per key.

"We think it's a great location in a high-barrier market," said Alpesh Khushal, president and CEO. "No broker was involved, this was a corporate-owned property and I have a long-term relationship with La Quinta corporate. I brought up the (sale proposal); we began talks around December."

Sun Vista Hotels owns and operates the Comfort Inn Orlando-Lake Buena Vista on Palm Parkway, and previously owned the Best Western International Drive which lies on the corner of I-Drive and Jamaican Court. Khushal sold that Best Western last July for $10.8 million.

Sun Vista took over property management last Wednesday, and Khushal wants to begin revamping the property soon.

"We'll start a full renovation immediately, with a focus on all cosmetic aspects like furniture and carpet in rooms, and exterior repainting," he said. "We'll be looking for contractors, and open bids soon for painting, case goods, and cosmetic renovation work. Those interested can come to the property to learn more."

The seller was an affiliate of La Quinta Inn's corporate office in Irving, Texas, which has owned the property since June 1994, when it paid $5.65 million.

Khushal's buyer affiliate LLC acquired a mortgage of $6.936 million for the acquisition from Banc Developments Ltd., out of Nova Scotia, Canada.

Looking forward, Khushal said his Sun Vista Hotels is seeking more value-add hotel acquisition opportunities in the Orlando and Lake Buena Vista tourism corridors, but is not interested in Kissimmee properties.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at bmoser@growthspotter.com, (407) 420-5685 or @bobmoser333. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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