The same construction company that recently bought the 106-year-old St. Cloud Hotel is now in the process of buying its second historic downtown hotel.
ADMC International CEO Albert Leka told GrowthSpotter he expects to close in mid-September on the Hunter Arms Hotel, which was built in 1925. "It's a small project," he said. "We're going to keep it a hotel, make it better and keep the charm."
The first order of business will be to repaint the exterior, though Leka hasn't decided whether to keep the current color or go back to the original white.
Leka, an Albanian national who was raised in Greece, started a small metal workshop in 2002 that evolved into Assaco Design Metal Construction, a full-service construction company with more than 500 employees.
The firm won multiple contracts for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and helped build Athens International Airport. In 2009, he moved the company headquarters to Doha, Qatar, to take advantage of the enormous construction boon -- the firm is currently building an office tower, a train station and stadium.
Family friend Irene Tsatiris, an agent with La Rosa Realty, recruited Leka to open his first U.S. branch in Orlando in 2015. The company has invested in multiple small and medium-sized rental properties, in addition to the two hotels.
He said plans to split his time between Qatar and Orlando. Leka, who once developed a residential project in a 400-year-old building near the Acropolis, said he enjoys working on historic structures.
Ultimately, he plans to scale his U.S. business to the same size as the Qatari firm and compete for large-sale infrastructure projects here in Florida.
He is in early negotiations with city officials to build a parking garage with ground-floor retail behind the St. Cloud Hotel, which ADMC is converting into 18 residential units.
"Right now, we're getting our foot in the door," Leka said. "We have big plans. In this country, what I see is space for growth."