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Contractor Ken Cornell will spent the next five months converting the former Palms Motel at 201 Simpson Road into an apartment building for young professionals and students.
Contractor Ken Cornell will spent the next five months converting the former Palms Motel at 201 Simpson Road into an apartment building for young professionals and students. (Google Streetview)

After seven months of planning and permitting, a group of Orlando engineers closed the deal this week on the former Palms motel in Kissimmee for $2 million.

The 192-room motel just north of the US 192–Florida Turnpike interchange was once a Howard Johnson Inn, but has been closed for more than two years.

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"I feel like I got a good deal," new owner Ken Cornell said Thursday, noting that the property last sold in 2010 for $7 million.

The motel, just north of the U.S. 192 - FL Turnpike interchange, was built in 1972.
The motel, just north of the U.S. 192 - FL Turnpike interchange, was built in 1972. (Osceola County)

GrowthSpotter first reported in September of Cornell's plan to buy the 44-year-old motel. At the time, he and his partners were planning to convert the property into an apartment building offering affordable housing to military veterans. That plan has changed a bit.

"It's still going to be affordable housing, but it's not V.A.-specific," he said.

Partners in Brookfield Investments are in the process of buying the former Palms Hotel and plan to convert rooms into one-bedroom apartments.

With rents starting at less than $700 (including utilities), the Remington Apartments will be marketed to young professionals and college students. The building at 201 Simpson Road is just two miles from Valencia College and even closer to the future Judge Farms research park. No one under 18 will be permitted to live there.

Cornell, who is general contractor for the project, said he and his partners will invest more than $5 million in the renovation and conversion. The rooms will be converted into studio and one-bedroom apartments, all with full kitchens.

Cornell has already applied for building permits and expects the first tenants to move in within five months.

"Everything's going to be brand new, from the roof to the floor," he said. "New roof, new doors, new windows. The pool is going to be completely redone and refurbished. The tennis courts are going to be redone and refurbished. We're installing walking trails on the property."

Stephen Yeow and Robert Paymayesh are also named partners in Brookfield Investments. The trio, through their affiliate LLC, took out a $3.25 million mortgage from Pensam Capital.

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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