JW Marriott with Rooftop Garden to Anchor New Downtown Hotel and Convention Center – GrowthSpotter


It looks like downtown Orlando will get its luxury hotel and convention center, as promised by developers Albert Socol and Marlene Weiss.

The head spouses of Summa Development Group filed updated renderings with the city naming JW Marriott as the anchor of their 33-story mixed-use tower at the corner of Church and Pine streets. They are seeking a major Appearance Approval Certificate for the project, which includes the luxury hotel, a convention center and JW Marriott-branded residences – a combination of 102 condominiums and 27 penthouses above the hotel. .

The overall building design has been renamed JW Marriott Hotel/Convention Center & Residences, but closely resembles the original concept presented by lead architect Steve Cavanaugh of DLR Group during the Project Appearance Review Board courtesy review two years ago. During this presentation, Weiss explained that the strapping on the tower between the hotel and the residences would be for hotel signage.

“The group that sits between the hotel and the condo space is intentionally left blank for the famous name of the hotel that we are going to get, which we currently have three fights for,” Weiss said at the time. .

This would be the third JW Marriott flag in Orlando. The company operates two resort properties near Disney: JW Marriott Orlando Grand Lakes and JW Marriott Orlando Bonnett Creek. Both are considered 4 star hotels.

The 319 E Church St. skyscraper would rise across from CitiTower, which was also developed by SDG. Developers received masterplan approval for their second round in 2020, but the project was put on hold for a year while they negotiated with the Orlando Museum of Art to house a downtown branch of the museum with 30,000 square feet of new gallery space highlighted by the world’s first rooftop garden featuring works by world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly.

The project was to be funded through an undisclosed donation from famed Winter Park philanthropist Alan Ginsburg, a former OMA board member. Socol and Weiss even brought in a second team of architects from Pelli Clarke Pelli specifically to design the museum space. That project fell through earlier this year when the museum’s board abruptly backed out of the deal, saying the decision was based on bad timing. The building would not have been completed in time for the museum’s 100th anniversary in 2025.

The project had been spearheaded by former museum director Aaron De Groft, who was forced out of his post in July amid fallout from questions about the authenticity of paintings by artist Jean-Michel Basquiat and a FBI raid on the museum in June.

But while the museum branch is gone, the brightly colored rooftop garden remains in plan as an outdoor event space for the building’s 9-story podium rooftop hotel, a space that was largely unused. in the original design of the building. De Groft envisioned the space as a lush “urban oasis” and tourist attraction in the heart of the downtown cultural district. It would be designed to collect rainwater and capture sunlight so that it could be illuminated at night using solar power, providing a breathtaking view for hotel guests and residents.

Marc McMurrin, president and CEO of the Ginsburg Family Foundation, said Ginsburg had a personal relationship with Dale Chihuly. Now that he and the foundation are no longer involved, the garden is unlikely to include pieces by the artist. “The connection with Chihuly was uniquely ours,” he said. “They had no relationship with him.”

The current renderings are inspired by concepts prepared by Pelli Clarke Pelli for the museum. They show a blue-striped glass verandah building surrounded by tropical plants and glass sculptures. According to the previous plan, the garden would only have been accessible to museum visitors. It is not clear if this version will have restricted access.

SDG and DLR Group declined to comment for this story.

Approved plans call for a 228-key hotel with more than 60,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space on three floors and a Sky Club on the 33rd floor. The pool and spa would be on level 10.

Paul Sexton, vice president of HREC Advisors, said the downtown hotel market is still a “bit uncharted” country, and is overdue for a luxury brand that caters to groups and groups. agreements.

The JW Marriott tower is said to be one of the few projects on the drawing boards that could add hotel room inventory to the central business district.

Monarch Tower, designed by Barrios Baker, is entitled to accommodate up to 380 rental apartments, as well as a full-service lifestyle hotel with up to 200 rooms to accommodate a national brand or 130 rooms to accommodate a boutique hotel concept. Plans include a ground floor and rooftop restaurant. Additional features include meeting and banquet space, a spa, and at least one pool. Based in Massachusetts Northland Investment Company acquired the project with rights in 2021.

In Creative Village, Ustler Development and The Allen Morris Company announced plans in 2021 to add a Moxy-branded hotel as the next phase of the project.

Other luxury brands are heading to Orlando’s tourist corridor, including the new Conrad Hotel at Evermore Resort Orlando and a Kempinski Hotel at Everest Place. Based in New York Development Enterprise Group (DEVEN), which co-developed the Bonnett Creek Resort in Orlando, announced in 2021 its intention to partner with a hotel group Accor to bring a new Fairmont Hotels & Resorts brand here.

Do you have any advice on developing Central Florida? contact me at [email protected] or (407) 420-6261, or tweet me at @byLauraKinsler. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


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