The majority owner of a failed W192 condo hotel is considering converting the former Hampton Inn building into apartments.
The four-story, 166-room hotel was converted into a condo hotel in 2005 and has been closed for years. Located at the W192 - Interstate 4 interchange, the property is close to Disney World and has highway visibility.
But Murthadha Jaffer, the condo board president and owner of 115 of the condo units, told GrowthSpotter even if he reopened the hotel, it wouldn't be able to compete with the hotel and timeshare properties surrounding it.
Jaffer, along with his attorney, architect and engineer, met Wednesday with Osceola County planning staff to discuss whether the building could be converted.
Engineer Raymond Stangle with Jordan Companies said the preliminary plan would be for 80 apartment units, but that number depends on the county's recreational space requirements and credits for maintaining facilities such as a swimming pool and fitness center.
Senior Planner Tina Burdette said the property falls within a Development of Regional Impact (DRI) that had already maxed out its multifamily entitlements. The change in use would be permitted because the underlying land use is Tourist Commercial, but it would require a DRI amendment.
Community Development Director Kerry Godwin suggested now would be the ideal time to rescind the DRI. "Since the annual report was just done, it would be easy to go through the rescission process," he said. "If you rescind the DRI and go to straight rezoning, there's no caps on density."
"The county wants everybody to rescind their DRIs now because they're such a drain on local government," he said.
Jaffer said any decision would be months away because he needs consensus from the other 44 condo owners before determining the future use of the property.