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W Hotel and concert venue to break ground at Epic Universe later this year

A new Marriott-branded W Hotel and concert venue will break ground later this year, delivering 400 rooms and a slate of luxury amenities next to Epic Universe, on a 10-acre property on the northwest corner of Universal Boulevard and Destination Parkway.

National hotel developer Buccini/Pollin Group (BPG), based in Chevy Chase, Maryland, is behind the project. Co-president Dave Pollin told GrowthSpotter that he can’t give a specific date for the project’s groundbreaking, but the project is on track to begin construction later this year. “Q2 would be optimistic and Q4 would be conservative,” he said.

The 22-story hotel and concert venue will open in 2026, as the project will take two years to build. Once complete, the project will deliver 400 hotel rooms, a 2,000-seat concert venue, a 700-car parking garage, and five bars and restaurants, including a flagship 400-seat restaurant and an additional 200-seat restaurant.

The adult pool will be set off from the hotel so that guests can’t hear the music and will provide cabana rentals. The hotel will feature an additional rooftop pool for guests who want a quieter, more family-oriented environment, which could include waterpark-style features such as a lazy river.

The nearly 29,000-square-foot music venue, which will hold up to 2,000 people, will be managed by a third-party operator. The concert venue will attract shows to the area between 150-200 days of the year and can host private and corporate events on days when there are no shows.

Orlando-based Kimley-Horn is the civil engineer for the project, Atlanta-based Cooper Carry is the architect, and the Orlando office of national firm LandDesign served as the landscape architect. The developer BPG owns and operates about 80 hotels in 20 states, but the W Hotel will be their first venture into the Orlando area, which Pollin is very excited about. “I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Orlando is one of the top tourist destinations in the country”, he pointed out.

The location of the W Hotel is exciting as well, as it will operate directly next to the upcoming Epic Universe park, set to open in 2025. While the hotel isn’t technically on-site, guests will have easy access to the park. Pollin also wants to partner with the UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management, situated across the street, hoping to work with students to create case studies during the 2-year construction period.

BPG signed a 99-year ground lease with the owner of the property. The landlord is Universal Retail C LLC, an affiliate of Comterra Group and SRE Holdings. The annual rent for the ground lease starts at $1.55 million per year for the first 10 years and increases by 10% every 10 years for the duration of the lease.

This will be the first W Hotel in the Orlando market. Marriott operates 73 W Hotels worldwide and 24 in the U.S. There are three W Hotels in Florida, two in Miami and one in Ft. Lauderdale. The W is one of the national hotelier’s luxury brands, on the same level as St. Regis, The Ritz Carlton, and J.W. Marriott.

Source: Tyler Williams 


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