A family-run commercial development firm based in St. Petersburg is seeking permits for an infill redevelopment project that could bring a 120-room hotel, dining and retail to Haines City.
East Madeira Corp. Principal Richard Travis told GrowthSpotter his grandfather started the business in the 1950s by building and operating marinas and mobile home parks. "We got into retail development about 15 years ago," he said.
Citrus Crossing is slated for 6.8 acres at the northeast corner of U.S. 27 and Main Street, near the entrance to the Southern Dunes Golf & Country Club. The site is in a strong retail corridor, adjacent to a Winn Dixie store and a block south of a Walmart Supercenter.
"We purchased the property, and we're pretty excited about it," Travis said. "It's going to be a really nice redevelopment."
The site plan calls for a 120-room hotel pad plus several outparcels suitable for casual or quick-service restaurants or retail users. Tampa-based Hybridge is the leasing agent and has already signed a Verizon wireless store for one outparcel, Travis said.
Madeira has applied for an environmental resource permit for the entire site and construction permits for the first two commercial lots.
StreetFront Commercial Properties has a purchase contract on the hotel pad, and Principal Steve Stone said he and investor-partners plan to build a four-story, 120-room dual-branded hotel with a mix of limited service rooms and extended-stay suites.
Stone said his past experience has largely focused on retail and mixed-use commercial development. His joint-venture partners are a husband and wife team who have experience in hotel management, and are branching into hotel development with a total of four locations, including Citrus Crossing in Haines City.
He said the Haines City market is underserved, and the site received a strong endorsement from his hotel consultant.
"I think without a doubt there's demand," Stone said. "Really, the nearest hotels if you drive from Lake Alfred north are at I-4."
StreetFront is currently negotiating with two national hotel companies for the co-branded property.
"We're in due diligence now," Stone said. "Once we have permits approved, we'll close on the hotel pad. We're in the process of identifying which flag we're going to go with, and then we'll need to get site plan approval."
Polk County's U.S. 27 corridor is currently seeing a flurry of new mid-level hotel activity. A development group led by Park Square Homes' CEO Suresh Gupta recently broke ground on a 106-key WoodSpring Suites in the Four Corners area.
New York hotelier Harry Gross has approvals for a mixed-use development at U.S. 27 and Ronald Reagan Parkway and plans to build a branded, extended-stay hotel on the site.
Feltrim Group also recently updated its master plan for Balmoral, at U.S. 27 and U.S. 17-92, to add an 80-room hotel at the main entrance to the resort community.