A Miami developer who recently bought a 38-year-old motel at a key intersection on W192 wants to raze the building and replace it with a 20-story hotel that would tower above anything else on the tourism corridor.
Juan Francisco Nagaro founded Lincoln Heights Estates LLC, which paid $5.7 million cash in early June for the Golden Link Motel at 4914 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, overlooking Lake Cecile. The two-story motel sits on 5.7 acres at the signalized intersection with Irlo Bronson and Vineland Road/S.R. 535.
He and his engineering team from KPM Franklin held a pre-application meeting Wednesday with Osceola County’s Development Review Committee to discuss the concept, which would include a restaurant and structured parking.
The motel was built in 1984 and was expanded five years later. It’s part of the Planned Development which has height restrictions. Zoning Official Mandy Warwick advised Nagaro to rezone the property to Community Center Core, which would match the future land use and would allow for a hotel with no height limit.
Nagaro said he expects it could take up to two years to get through the rezoning, design, permitting and financing for the tower. In the meantime, he intends to renovate the motel and continue operating it. “We don’t want to operate the hotel as a motel,” he said. “We want to put a hotel there, and we are we have our interior designers in New York working in the rooms right now.”
One of his planned upgrades would be to add a kitchen so he can offer hot breakfast to the guests, and he needed clarification on whether that would trigger a requirement to add fire sprinklers throughout the entire building.
This is Nagaro’s third effort to enter the Orlando market. In 2020 he had a purchase contract on the I-Drive Grande Resort, a 1970s-era motel next to Universal’s Endless Summer Resort, and envisioned building a trio of 20-story hotel towers with a convention center and apartments. That project stalled, and that property sold in 2021 to another investor.
Also in 2020, Nagaro purchased 36 acres of mostly wetlands on Four Winds Boulevard, behind Kissimmee’s old Jungleland Zoo, and attempted to have it annexed into the city to build a 300-unit multifamily community there. But the City Council rejected the annexation request. Nagaro won approval in 2021 to rezone the property to Commercial Tourist, but that’s as far as the project has gone.
The Golden Link property is situated on a stretch of the corridor that has begun to attract more private investment. Last October, a Miami investment group bought the adjacent three parcel assemblage at auction for $8.5 million. Those properties were home to a pair of condemned motel that have since been demolished. Now the owners are looking to build multifamily on the 17-acre site.
The Howard Johnson at 4836 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy., just east of the Lake Cecile assemblage, also recently sold and is part of redevelopment/residential conversion called Dimora Lake. The new owners bought two vacant lots to create a unified 12.25-acre site that can accommodate the county’s parking and recreation requirements.
Across the street, Miami-based Urban Network Capital Group (UNCG), is close to starting construction on The Flats Resort & Spa, a $32 million wellness-themed condo hotel resort at W192 and Bamboo Lane, near the main entrance to Storey Lake Resort.