Tremont Realty Capital is owner of Church Street Station downtown and land parcels on which the 25-story mixed-use Tremont Tower will be built at the corner of South Street and Garland Avenue (next to Church Street Ballroom). LPC is serving as master developer on the project, with equity partners.
When LPC executives first approached Tremont prior to 2014 to pitch what is now an estimated $81 million project, a high-impact hotel flag that could draw downtown's attention was one of the key selling points, said Austin Stahley, director of leasing for Lincoln in Orlando.
"We appreciate Hyatt Hotels, but didn't think Hyatt Place captured the energy we wanted for that downtown corner," he said. "With a brand like AC Hotels which is growing rapidly internationally, it was our plan from Day 1 to take what was already submitted to the city (with Hyatt Place as a tentative flag) and eventually make the change."
First launched in Spain in 2011 by Marriott with Spanish hotelier Antonio Catalan, AC Hotels is one of the company's fastest growing brands in Europe. Aimed at contemporary travelers, Marriott's first AC in the United States was New Orleans in late 2014; it now has 10 open across the U.S., with a second AC Hotel set to open in Miami (Aventura) this November.
The eight-story, 180-key hotel will occupy floors 18-25, and be accessed by guests from the ground via an express elevator to the tower's 18th floor. The 18th floor will feature a lobby bar and amenity level with outdoor patio seating overlooking Downtown Orlando, and the 19th floor dedicated to guest check-in, Stahley said.
"Tremont expressed to us that they wanted this hotel to have an elevated bar with a skyline view that would really offer an 'It' factor" that could draw residents as well as travelers, he added.
General contractor Austin Commercial LP could begin construction on the site's foundation and structural columns within the next two months, Stahley said. The development project has all its necessary permits approved, with Lincoln now coordinating with City of Orlando on the location of the Sunrail platform near the future building.
The establishment of AC Hotels in Downtown Orlando follows news last week that Puerto Rican developers PRISA Group changed its plans for a dual-brand Marriott hotel behind Mall at Millenia, swapping out the AC Hotels flag that would have been Orlando's first, and replacing it with Springhill Suites.
Tremont Tower will boast 214,800 square feet across seven floors of office space, 8,200 square feet of ground-level retail and 586 spaces of parking across a 10-floor garage.
HuntonBrady is architect on the project, and plans to move its downtown office to the new Tremont Tower. LPC will relocate its Orlando office there as well, and Austin Commercial plans to establish a 7,000-square-foot regional headquarters.