Estero-based ComTerra Development Group is progressing on its 20-acre Destination Shoppes at Universal mixed-use project with the introduction of a dual-branded EVEN and Staybridge Suites hotel.
According to a Development Plan application filed with Orange County on Tuesday, the developer wants to build a 288-key hotel featuring the two IHG flags on lot 2 of its 20-acre Destination Shoppes site, which lies on the northeast corner of Universal Boulevard and Destination Parkway.
The hotel woud sit on the western portion of the development. A conceptual elevation shows a seven-story hotel building with a grand entrance porte cochere and pool.
Calls and emails sent to principals with ComTerra were not immediately returned. The firm is partnering with Craft Development Corp. of Toronto on the project.
Dual-branded EVEN and Staybridge Suites hotels are often positioned near big attractions or establishments. A hotel with the same flags was recently completed near Amazon’s global headquarters in downtown Seattle.
Last year in January, Orlando-based Ripley Entertainment Inc. paid $7.6 million for more than 17 acres off of Universal Boulevard, along with rights for retail development that would allow for a large museum.
The site was formerly owned by an entity tied to Stan Thomas' Southwood Development Company in Atlanta. The firm also sold the 20-acre site to ComTerra in 2016 for $10.14 million.
A year later, ContraVest purchased land located directly behind the planned Destination Shoppes for about $7.1 million. Since acquiring the land the developer has completed The Addison Apartments as part of the second phase of its 345-unit Courtney Apartments at the site.
Going vertical on ComTerra's Destination Shoppes, on the other hand, has yet to happen.
ComTerra originally proposed Destination Shoppes with a suburban layout that would place surface parking on the front of each lot, and buildings at the rear. But county planners rejected that plan, saying it conflicted with the I-Drive Vision Plan standards set by Orange County officials to create a walkable, urban, mixed-use environment.
The overlay was being refined by city officials around the same time ComTerra began planning Destination Shoppes in 2016.
Fast-forward a little more than three years, and the ComTerra development team is still in the planning process.
A revised Development Plan was filed in 2016 for the first phase of retail development, along with a separate DP for a 7-Eleven fuel station and convenience store.
That DP showed retail building placements for lots 4, 3 and 2, which is where the hotel portion is now. It's unclear if a seperate DP for the retail portion is in the works.
Other developments nearby includes Kevin Fitzpatrick's proposed 408-unit apartment complex, set to rise on 12 acres of land along the unfinished portion of Destination Parkway.
Fitzpatrick, a former head of global real estate at American International Group(AIG), paid $6.6 million for the parcel in 2017, with the backing of multiple private investors.