ORLANDO, Fla., Dec. 13, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Legacy Hotel Advisors (Legacy), a specialized real estate services group and advisor to the lodging industry, today announced plans to develop a 129-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel on the new headquarters campus of Darden Restaurants, Inc. (NYSE: DRI) in Orlando.
Attractively located along John Young Parkway at the intersection of Taft Vineland Road, the hotel will be supported by demand from Darden's Restaurant Support Center and the adjacent South Park Center office complex. With convenient access to the Orlando International Airport, Orange County Convention Center, Walt Disney World Resort and other popular attractions, the five-story hotel should benefit from its close proximity to Marriott's luxurious Grande Lakes Orlando resort – which features a 1,000-room JW Marriott and 584-room Ritz-Carlton with 150,000 square feet of combined meeting space and world-class golf, spa and dining offerings.
Thomas J. Hutchison III, chairman of Legacy, said, "We are pleased to be working alongside a preeminent restaurant operator in Darden and to collaborate on a project in our hometown of Orlando, one of the most celebrated visitor destinations in the world. In a market with a strong history of absorbing new inventory, we believe it's an opportune time to invest in lodging assets that can deliver quality, affordability and an exceptional location. And our longstanding relationship with Marriott is a testament to the strength of its brands and loyalty of its customers."
The Courtyard hotel represents the initial phase of a multi-phase development plan for Darden's new 64-acre campus, with future phases to include 28,000-square-feet of retail space and 45,000-square-feet of additional office space.
"Beyond providing on-campus lodging for our specialized training programs and visiting management, the hotel property will further our dedication to sustainable design and construction through Legacy's commitment to develop a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified hotel facility," said Suk Singh, senior vice president of development for Darden.
Darden's 469,000-square-foot support center, which opened in September 2009, received LEED Gold certification from the United States Green Building Council, making it the largest newly constructed building in Florida to do so. In the Orlando market, the Courtyard hotel will mark the first Marriott branded property with LEED certification.
Legacy's CEO, Jay H. Berlinsky, added, "We're particularly excited to support our local business community and to help attract more visitors to the area. The Courtyard project is a great indicator of the emerging lodging opportunities in Central Florida, and will serve as a catalyst to several new development projects we're pursuing in the region."
Legacy expects to begin construction in 2011. Upon completion, the property will join a local Orlando portfolio of six Courtyard hotels. With more than 860 locations in 30 countries, Courtyard is Marriott's largest hotel brand and is expanding internationally with 200 additional hotels planned over the next three years.
Legacy has engaged award-winning, Orlando-based designers L2 Studios, Inc., with a proposed exterior rendering of the hotel accessible at www.l2studios.com/news-events.
About Legacy Hotel Advisors
Legacy Hotel Advisors is a specialized real estate services company dedicated to the lodging industry. Alongside its affiliate company, Legacy Healthcare Advisors, the group provides focused solutions in such areas as strategic positioning, debt and capital sourcing, complex transactions, site selection, opportunistic development and asset ownership and management. Comprised of industry veterans, the Legacy team has invested their careers capitalizing on challenging market cycles and creating tremendous value for clients. For additional information, please visit www.legacycos.com.
SOURCE Legacy Hotel Advisors