New owners to spend at least $30M on massive renovation of Disney-area hotel

The Sarasota-based hotel company that bought the former Magnuson Grand on Kissimmee's W192 tourism corridor is planning to spend anywhere from $30 million to $50 million on a full renovation and expansion, a company executive told GrowthSpotter.

Marc Gagliardi, vice president of Kapstones Holding, said the 442-room property would be one of a trio of hotels to launch the company's new "Kustom Hotels" brand with approximately 1,000 rooms in the pipeline. The other locations in Sarasota and near Disneyland Paris are currently under construction.

"We have a long history of being affiliated with Disney parks, which is why we were attracted to Orlando," Gagliardi said. 

Kapstones was founded by Gagliardi's father, Enzo, who is also CEO of Finergy Group. The company paid $8.55 million last year for the Kissimmee hotel, which had been closed for years and was tied up in bankruptcy proceedings.

The 4-story hotel at 7491 W. Irlo Bronson Memorial Hwy. was built in 1984 by Holiday Inn founder Kemmons Wilson as one of his signature "Wilson World" hotels. The guest rooms surround an 8,000-square-foot atrium with an indoor pool. The 8.2-acre property also has an outdoor pool and full-service restaurant. 

Hotel broker and consultant Terry Hatfield said the scale of the renovation would be comparable to Carter Hospitality Group's investment in the recently reopened Red Lion Orlando Lake Buena Vista South at 5150 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway. That renovation took over two years

"We're not going to slap a coat of paint on the building," Gagliardi said. "It will be a full gut down to the concrete walls."

The building will get a new roof as well as additional stairways and elevators. The atrium will be removed so the existing indoor pool will become open to the sky, he added. 

Kapstones will sacrifice up to 30 guest rooms to provide more amenities, Gagliardi said. That would include a fitness center, business center/co-working space and kids' lounge/childcare area. They hope to reopen in 12-15 months. 

Kapstones is working with Chancellor Design Group on all three Kustom Hotels. The team met Wednesday with Osceola County's Development Review Committee to discuss the renovation and rezoning the site to Tourist Commercial zoning to comply with the land use. The group also discussed plans to carve out two outparcels in front of the hotel for a retail store and restaurant on land that's currently used for stormwater retention. 

"We would need to either relocate or submerge the stormwater," architect Eric Chancellor said. 

In addition, the developers would likely need a drainage connection permit from FDOT, county Principal Engineer Jose Gomez told them.

Hatfield said the developer's goal would also be improve pedestrian accessibility to the site, noting that the property is right across the street from the Walmart Supercenter at West 192 and Old Lake Wilson Road.

Senior Zoning Specialist Amy Templeton said rezoning would take at least three months, but Kapstones could go ahead and pull building permits for the roofwork, facade and interior renovations now. Permits for the new elevators and stairwells could not be issued until the property is rezoned. 

Kapstones also would need to file a preliminary subdivision plan (PSP) and plat to create the new outparcels fronting on West 192, she said.  

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at lkinsler@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-6261, or tweet me at @LKinslerOGrowth. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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