Tampa firm looking to build new 100-room branded hotel on W192 in Four Corners

Tampa-based Laeq & Associates wants to build a new 100-room branded hotel on W192 in the Four Corners area if the firm can solve the riddle of how to develop the 8.2-acre site.

"We're going through our due diligence, but the site has some challenges," Principal Syed Laeq Ali told GrowthSpotter. He's scheduled to meet with Osceola County planners Wednesday morning to discuss the site issues.

The owners, an Argentinian investment group called Secret Lake Investments Group LLC, bought the vacant property in early 2014 for $1.2 million.

Laeq is a licensed engineer, architect and general contractor. He's been busy in Kissimmee for the last several months renovating the former Toscana Suites property on Reedy Creek Drive. He also has a few commercial projects under construction in Orlando on Orange Blossom Trail at the intersection with Central Florida Parkway.

The Four Corners parcel lies on the south side of U.S. 192 between Westside Boulevard and the Polk County line, and across from a proposed $60 million hotel development on the Orange County side of the highway. 

The Secret Lake property is familiar to county planners -- this is the third time in the last year someone has proposed a development on the site, more than half of which is classified as a Class A wetland. 

In March 2016, Malak Corporation proposed a 280-room condo hotel community to be built in two phases. The first phase fronting on W192 would have included a single tower with 48 residential units and an attached four-story parking deck and swimming pool amenity. 

In October, Gardner Capital proposed a 60-unit affordable housing apartment community on the site. It was one of three sites the developer submitted to Florida Housing Finance Corp. for Low Income Housing Tax Credits.

Laeq said he's well aware of the environmental constraints on the property, which means any hotel project would probably have to include a parking garage to meet code requirements. The site is zoned Tourist Commercial, and county code requires a minimum of one parking space for each hotel room. The hotel would be an interior corridor, limited service hotel.

"We'd like to have more than 100 rooms," Laeq said. "We may end up having to do the structured parking. I don't know how much potentially we can get from the site."

Across the highway in Orange County, Hollywood-based hotel owner-operator AD1 Global filed a preliminary site plan in December for a trio of select service hotels totaling 429 rooms on more than 57 acres.

That complex would also feature a multipurpose grass field, and a shared amenities area that includes a restaurant, clubhouse, "FlowRider" surf machine, lazy river, splash zone, swimming pool with water falls, two spas, a tiki bar, waterslide tower, and a beach area and volleyball court that fronts a man-made lake. 

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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