Hotels & Hospitality Development News in Central Florida

Miami developer named for Tru Hotel project on Westwood, south of OCCC

Highlighted in red is the 5-acre parcel on Westwood Boulevard where 4.46 acres are proposed for a Tru Hotel. Outlined in red to its west is another 5-acre parcel owned by the same BNP Paribas Bank affiliate. The blue-outlined 1-acre parcel is under contract, and the green outlined 5 acres to the east is still marketed for sale. The large 20-acre undeveloped parcel to the west of these was sold in November 2016, and is planned for a convention hotel tower.

UPDATED: February 13, 2017 3:18 PM — Miami-based Epelboim Development Group has produced plans for an eight-story, 259-key Tru by Hilton hotel south of the Orange County Convention Center, with the land under contract and potentially more to come.

Proposed for 6461 Westwood Blvd., the company has 4.46 acres of the parcel under contract for eventual purchase from an Orlando-based developer, who is positioned to buy it first along with a neighboring 5 acres owned by the same seller. That middleman developer's name could not be confirmed on Monday.


Epelboim filed a new Development Plan with Orange County on Monday, after civil engineering representatives with DRMP, Inc., discussed a concept plan with county planners at a pre-application meeting in early January.

DRMP representatives said during the January meeting that their client, the local middleman developer, had an option-contract on the two parcels totaling 10 acres.

A rendering showing the proposed Tru Hotel from its entrance off of Westwood Boulevard.

The prospective seller and current owner is Orlando Westwood Loan Associates LLC, an affiliate of BNP Paribas Bank, which acquired this and a neighboring 5-acre parcel for $100,100 in September 2013 following unpaid loans by previous owner Sham Majaraj.

Executives with Epelboim Development declined to comment on its plans for the property on Monday, citing a non-disclosure agreement.

The property lies southeast of the Interstate 4-Beachline Expressway intersection, with quick access to OCCC via a flyover bridge that leads right to the West Concourse.

It is also adjacent to a 20-acre site bought in late November by developer DCS Real Estate Holdings, which is pursuing plans for a convention-level hotel tower with 1,000 to 1,200 keys.

Epelboim's target property is one of four undeveloped parcels totaling 16 acres east of DCS Real Estate's land, each with entitlements allowing high-rise hotels.

Aside from Orlando Westwood Loan Associates' other 5-acre parcel there, Winter Park-based Magnolia Advisors owns a 1-acre parcel fronting Westwood Boulevard that is under contract, according to principal Brian Cirillo.

And east of that is a 5-acre parcel on the hard corner of W. Entrance Drive and Westwood Boulevard, owned by Winter Park-based Avanti Properties Group. That land remains for sale with "detailed discussions underway with some interested parties," said Steve Taylor, listing broker for the property with Hunter Hotel Advisors.

Epelboim's Tru Hotel DP is scheduled to go before the county's Development Review Committee on March 15.


This would be the second property in Greater Orlando to carry the relatively new Tru flag from Hilton. Principals with Park Square Homes have a 2-acre site under contract in Sanford with plans for a 98-room hotel, for which they told GrowthSpotter in January they're negotiating for the Tru flag.

This rendering shows the rear of the proposed Tru Hotel, with a swimming pool area.

Epelboim has developed residential and commercial projects in Venezuela, Costa Rica and South Florida, and recruits EB-5 immigrant visa investors to help finance many of its projects.

This would be Epelboim's second hotel project, according to a portfolio listing on the company's website. Its first hotel development is a 190-key EVEN Hotel at Miami International Airport, a $33 million project that broke ground last October and is projected to open in First Quarter 2018.

DLW Architects has served as architect on the plans, and Mariano Corral of Miami is the landscape architect.

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