French hospitality giant Accor SA and New York-based Development Ventures Group on Nov. 5 announced plans to build a new Fairmont Hotels & Resorts-branded hotel in Central Florida.
The new 550-room, seven-story Fairmont Orlando hotel will open in early 2025 on 30-acres "in the heart of Orlando’s entertainment district," according to a news release, though an exact location wasn't revealed. Development Ventures Group, known as Deven Group, will develop the property. The development team includes Atlanta-based Smallwood Architects as the project architect; California-based SFA Design handling hotel interiors; and Toronto-based Studio Paolo Ferrari handling the restaurants' design.
The project cost wasn't revealed. However, a luxury hotel of this size may cost about $425 million to build, from land to completion, based on industry estimates.
Hotel development offers a boost to the Central Florida economy since it leads to temporary construction and permanent hospitality jobs. More luxury hotel product also may appeal to a broader travel demographic, visitors who likely would spend more money in the area during their vacations.
The new property also will expand Accor's footprint in strategic North American markets, said Heather McCrory, CEO of Accor North & Central America, in a prepared statement. "Fairmont Orlando will be a notable addition to Accor’s growing luxury portfolio in the region, and is poised to become a prominent hotel in Orlando catering to the most discerning of travelers.”
The hotel's details, via the release, include:
- Ninety suites, 12 unique villas and 87 Fairmont Gold VIP rooms
- Seven "elevated" dining experiences, including a 140-seat signature restaurant, a specialty Mediterranean restaurant, an upscale steakhouse, gourmet cafe, and other bars and lounges
- A 12,000-square-foot spa and wellness center
- More than 44,000 square feet of meeting and events space
- Three swimming pools including a family, adult-only and lazy river amenity
- Children and young adult centers
- A library and business center
- Ancillary retail space
Deven Group likely will purchase the land where it will build the hotel. It's unknown who the current property owner is, however, CBRE Group Inc.'s real estate team of Robbie McEwan, Austin Weller and Michael McEwan are Deven Group's representatives.
Deven Group and Accor representatives couldn't be reached for comment. Robbie McEwan declined to share details.
Orlando's hotel market has drawn interest from the luxury sector — both in acquisitions and new builds.
For example, the 444-room Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort in May sold in a cash transaction of $610 million, or $1.4 million per room, to Bethesda, Maryland-based lodging REIT Host Hotels & Resorts Inc. The per-room price paid is notable, as it averages about $675,000 per key to develop luxury hotels, per a U.S. Hotel Development Cost Survey by New York-based hospitality consulting firm HVS. That includes land, building and site improvements, interior buildout, fees pre-opening and working capital.
Also, Darton US Holdings Inc. in September filed plans with Orange County to build a seven-story luxury hotel complex with 526 rooms, conference center and parking garage, as well as 12 villas on nearly 30 acres near Disney and Interstate 4. The hotel component may cost roughly $406.5 million, or $772,937 per room, based on data from New York-based hospitality consulting firm HVS LLC. The other project components may push the total price tag closer to $1 billion.
Darton's project appears to have similar size and acreage to the new Fairmont hotel, but it's unknown if they are the same.
Interest is strong in Orlando's hotel inventory, CBRE Senior Vice President Robbie McEwan told Orlando Business Journal. "There's a lot of capital in the market, but the hotel market over the last couple of years — due to Covid — has been challenged. With the expectation of the return of the tourist market, particularly everything Disney is doing and Universal's Epic Universe ... the future predictions of the Orlando market is one of the best in the country."
Central Florida’s 54% average hotel occupancy in the first six months of 2021 was down from 80% for the same pre-pandemic period in 2019, according to The Business Journals data.