MaXxlife

Rida Development Corp's Mixed-Use Complex [Under Construction]

407 posts in this topic

OSentinel 5.2.08

The Houston-based company, which is developing ChampionsGate in Osceola County and a Hilton hotel near the Orange County Convention Center, snapped up a prime but long-vacant block of land in the middle of downtown this week, with plans for a multimillion-dollar, mixed-use complex.

Rida bought the 5.62 acres on Orange Avenue between Amelia and Livingston streets -- long known as the Pizzuti block -- from a South Florida partnership for $15.1 million, the company's senior vice president in Florida said Thursday.

"We're going to start work immediately" on various designs for the property that will incorporate a hotel, retail space and offices, said Marc Reicher, the privately held company's senior executive in the Orlando area.

"This was a unique opportunity for us to get into the center of the city -- with a city block. We're looking forward to creating a sense of place," Reicher said. The company will probably invest at least $250 million in a joint-venture project that the company will own and control, he added.

Reicher said that, while "there clearly are challenges right now" in the city center's office market, with excess space and slack demand, "we're very confident in the future of downtown." He said there likely will be no groundbreaking for at least the next 12 to 18 months, not until more of the market's existing office space is absorbed and the economy firms up.

The property, across Orange from the Orange County Courthouse, is also adjacent to the Lynx regional-bus terminal. The site will benefit from nearby public-works projects, Reicher said, such as the planned arena and the performing-arts center.

The site was first cleared in the 1980s by longtime developer Ron Pizzuti of Columbus, Ohio, who left the Orlando market in 2002 after more than 15 years of investing and developing in the area. He returned a couple of years ago.

The property originally was supposed to become part of a proposed complex called duPont Centre, but only the first tower -- now known as the Bank of America building, on the southwest corner of Orange and Livingston -- was built. Pizzuti bought the undeveloped portion on the northwest corner of Orange and Livingston in 1995 for a proposed mixed-use project, spending millions on planning before deciding to sell the block.

The focal point of Pizzuti's project, which he called Orlando City Center, was to have been a distinctive, cloud-brushing tower topped by a large, open cube. It was proposed to soar 493 feet above the city -- higher than the downtown SunTrust Center, at 441 feet -- but the Federal Aviation Administration refused to approve the height, citing concerns about takeoff and landing patterns for Orlando Executive Airport a few miles to the east.

Pizzuti eventually sold the land.

"We have enough room there," Reicher said, to preserve some of the property's open space and create an "urban feel" with ground-floor retail and a full-service hotel. He said he expects the company's longtime financial partner, Apollo Real Estate Advisors of New York, to participate in the project.

Rida and Apollo are joint-venture partners in the 1,500-acre ChampionsGate project south of Walt Disney World. That development features an Omni hotel, apartments, villas, retail and offices alongside golf courses and other amenities.

Edited by MaXxlife

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Preliminary plans won't be as aggressive as the previous plans for this block, though Rida does already have a commitment from a major hotel name for a 250-300 room hotel on site.

Edited by GRS328

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In other words, another boring, stubby, lackluster yawner of building on a prime spot in downtown Orlando.

S.S.D.D.

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Preliminary plans won't be as aggressive as the previous plans for this block, though Rida does already have a commitment from a major hotel name for a 250-300 room hotel on site.

I'm not sure I understand- we keep hearing all these folks saying they have commitments from hotel chains even though downtown Orlando is traditionally a graveyard for occupancy. Just today, the Sentinel announced the owners of the Sheraton on Lake Ivanhoe are in Chapter 11. The Marriott has been struggling for years (despite, I might add, the arena and Bob Carr across the street), as has the Lexington. The old Sheraton 4 Points/Harley of course gave up the ghost a while back.

Obviously, I'm missing something.

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Maybe the plan is to try to attract out of town guests to the new hotels so they can stare out their window at other hotels! Heck, someone mind as well put together a graveyard tour of what was supposed to have been built downtown. They can ride by such landmarks that never made it like the Ferrari/Maserati dealership (CCS), AMC Theater (Plaza), Exotic Auto dealership (Orange Ave), AJAX professional soccer stadium, bowling alley (Benchmark), etc...

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It is hard to compare existing hotels to the proposed ones. The Marriot and Sheraton should not be included because of location and/or the quality of the hotel itself. WHy would a business traveler stay at the sheraton? You might as well stay in another part of Orlando. And the Marriot is not very nice. The propsed hotels will leverage additional meeting space with quality development to bring in additional guests.

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If the mayor's idea for the Creative Village come to fruition, we may yet see that Marriott go the way of a UCF dorm for the film and digital media program. Maybe not, but it could still happen a few years down the road. Can you envision a mid rise downtown with black and gold paint?

It does seem like a lot of hotel proposals for downtown, though. TT, Hilton at CSS, 55W, 215 Eola, Docs across from ORMC... am I missing any others? I wouldn't be surprised if the only one that happens is the Hilton across from the new arena.

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If the mayor's idea for the Creative Village come to fruition, we may yet see that Marriott go the way of a UCF dorm for the film and digital media program. Maybe not, but it could still happen a few years down the road. Can you envision a mid rise downtown with black and gold paint?

It does seem like a lot of hotel proposals for downtown, though. TT, Hilton at CSS, 55W, 215 Eola, Docs across from ORMC... am I missing any others? I wouldn't be surprised if the only one that happens is the Hilton across from the new arena.

Don't forget Capital Plaza III . That's the thing - projects that were essentially doomed all of a sudden are to be saved by hotels - even though the hotel business has been the weakest link of downtown's redevelopment over the years (both the Omni/Marriott & Radisson/Sheraton made the same types of claims Jack mentioned when they opened and they proved not to be the case). It just seems like we have developers throwing stuff at the wall to see what might stick - maybe after 25 years of watching stuff like this downtown, I'm a tad jaded. I'm with you, though, the Hilton seems to be the one that makes the most sense.

Edited by spenser1058

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I'm not sure I understand- we keep hearing all these folks saying they have commitments from hotel chains even though downtown Orlando is traditionally a graveyard for occupancy. Just today, the Sentinel announced the owners of the Sheraton on Lake Ivanhoe are in Chapter 11. The Marriott has been struggling for years (despite, I might add, the arena and Bob Carr across the street), as has the Lexington. The old Sheraton 4 Points/Harley of course gave up the ghost a while back.

Obviously, I'm missing something.

I totally agree. It's like hotels are the new condos. The condo market flops, so now everyone wants to convert those proposed projects to hotel. Same laws of economics apply, folks. Anyway, regarding all the other hotel commitments, I am not familiar with. I have seen actual documentation on this one though. Likely will be two to three years before anything were to start happening though.

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Don't forget Capital Plaza III . That's the thing - projects that were essentially doomed all of a sudden are to be saved by hotels - even though the hotel business has been the weakest link of downtown's redevelopment over the years (both the Omni/Marriott & Radisson/Sheraton made the same types of claims Jack mentioned when they opened and they proved not to be the case). It just seems like we have developers throwing stuff at the wall to see what might stick - maybe after 25 years of watching stuff like this downtown, I'm a tad jaded. I'm with you, though, the Hilton seems to be the one that makes the most sense.

I think a substantial difference between hotel proposals downtown today as opposed to the 1980s lie simply in their implementation. The Marriott downtown and the ex-Sheraton are sort of no mans land parcels with poor relation to their surroundings. I don't think the bulk of these proposals will see the light of day, but I do think those that do will be successful as "destinations." The Grand Bohemian is our best example of this.

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yeah, I agree the "destination" aspect for one, and the meeting room space for two, are key to success. also, having the marketing machine of the hotel flag booking those rooms wouldn't hurt either. a hotel across from the Courthouse would be successful, b/c the Courthouse is a generator of out-of-town visitors ala defense lawyers and witnesses, experts, etc.

...

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I think a substantial difference between hotel proposals downtown today as opposed to the 1980s lie simply in their implementation. The Marriott downtown and the ex-Sheraton are sort of no mans land parcels with poor relation to their surroundings. I don't think the bulk of these proposals will see the light of day, but I do think those that do will be successful as "destinations." The Grand Bohemian is our best example of this.

Great point... I was just about to agree with the idea of hotels failing downtown. However, when made a destination the story is different. Consider the 1,000's of rooms in the Metro Orlando area. Where did Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz stay last month when he was addressing this region's stores? He stayed downtown in The Grand Bohemian. Granted there is a Starbucks in there, there are a number of hotels in this area he could have stayed in--- including Marriotts with licensed-Starbucks in them (one of many targets for improvement). If we can continue attracting multi-million dollar big-wigs to stay downtown, see benefits of being downtown versus Orlando's sprawled districts, perhaps we can lure them to open offices downtown.

Just an idea.

Edited by WeNeed2Progress

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Great point... I was just about to agree with the idea of hotels failing downtown. However, when made a destination the story is different. Consider the 1,000's of rooms in the Metro Orlando area. Where did Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz stay last month when he was addressing this region's stores? He stayed downtown in The Grand Bohemian. Granted there is a Starbucks in there, there are a number of hotels in this area he could have stayed in--- including Marriotts with licensed-Starbucks in them (one of many targets for improvement). If we can continue attracting multi-million dollar big-wigs to stay downtown, see benefits of being downtown versus Orlando's sprawled districts, perhaps we can lure them to open offices downtown.

Just an idea.

There's a problem though. So many major luxery hotels have built away from downtown, with things like access to golf courses, etc.

Most major cities centrally place luxery hotel. Orlando, because it is a resort town, spreads them out.

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There's a problem though. So many major luxery hotels have built away from downtown, with things like access to golf courses, etc.

Most major cities centrally place luxery hotel. Orlando, because it is a resort town, spreads them out.

What's that? Transform Parramore into some majorly important golf course? Great idea! No, you do have a valid point though. Sadly it seems any sort of majoy industry that can add to downtown is stolen away by the exburbs...

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I think a substantial difference between hotel proposals downtown today as opposed to the 1980s lie simply in their implementation. The Marriott downtown and the ex-Sheraton are sort of no mans land parcels with poor relation to their surroundings. I don't think the bulk of these proposals will see the light of day, but I do think those that do will be successful as "destinations." The Grand Bohemian is our best example of this.

How well is The Grand Bohemian doing downtown anyone know?

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WHy would a business traveler stay at the sheraton? You might as well stay in another part of Orlando.

The answer to that is quite simple really

Edited by Camillo Sitte

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^^

thanks for the insight, but geez, for $300 a night you would think free internet and morning newspaper are included........even the holiday inn express offers these, but you do have to park your own car, lol

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I've just never personally found their Sheraton brand to be all that great.

They're not, but that isn

Edited by Camillo Sitte

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Digging up this old thread as there is a lot of chatter about CENTRAL STATION in the Downtown Forum. It hasn't broken ground yet and is still going through city review, but the latest update is the branded corners of the construction fence. I just drove by this this afternoon and it looks good. The Livingston/Orange corner touts SunRail/LYMMO and LYNX. Nice vote of confidence for advocates of transit being an economic driver. Looking forward to following along with this project and hopefully we'll see a crane and a webcam in 2013! We're less than 20 months away from SunRail service so the clock is ticking!

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Digging up this old thread as there is a lot of chatter about CENTRAL STATION in the Downtown Forum. It hasn't broken ground yet and is still going through city review, but the latest update is the branded corners of the construction fence. I just drove by this this afternoon and it looks good. The Livingston/Orange corner touts SunRail/LYMMO and LYNX. Nice vote of confidence for advocates of transit being an economic driver. Looking forward to following along with this project and hopefully we'll see a crane and a webcam in 2013! We're less than 20 months away from SunRail service so the clock is ticking!

Crane for what? Your actually excited about this project? This is  a WASTE of space on a beautiful piece of land.

 

At the same time, I put my feelings aside because I'm excited to see downtown grow.

Edited by CaptainJustice

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Yes, it would have been nicer to have gotten a more intense usage, but some of you may not realize how long the site has gone undeveloped ...

 

... over a quarter-century.

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