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Colombian developer unveils more plans for a 16-story condo-hotel near Universal – GrowthSpotter

Vaseline 2 months ago

Colombian developer Zicav Group wants to build a 16-story condo-hotel tower with ground-floor retail on valuable vacant land near Universal Studios.

The Barranquilla, Colombia-based developer initially held a pre-application meeting with Orlando planning staff in July 2022 to discuss the potential project at 5600 Major Blvd. Zicav Group purchased the 1.75-acre property along 5600 Major Blvd. in June 2023 from Temple Grove Major LLC for $3.8 million. The company recently submitted a master plan to the city of Orlando, revealing more details about the proposed GZ Universal Tower.

According to application materials, the building would contain 174 units, with five unit types ranging in size from 512 to 750 square feet. There would be a mix of studios, one-bedroom apartments with a study, and two-bedroom apartments. A floor plan indicates there would be 14 units on each floor, with a central area with elevators, stairs and storage closets.

A floor plan showing the proposed layout of the residential floors of the tower.  (Handout from DM Architect)
A floor plan showing the proposed layout of the residential floors of the tower. (Handout from DM Architect)

In addition to the homes, the building under the residential tower will also include a three-level parking structure, with four retail spaces on the ground floor of the parking garage. Three of the retail spaces would each include approximately 1,000 square feet of space, with an additional space of approximately 3,000 square feet. Potential tenants for the retail spaces could include cafes, restaurants, boutiques or convenience stores.

There would also be an approximately 6,000 square meter recreational area on the fourth floor above the parking garage, with plans for a gym, landscaped gardens and recreational/social meeting areas.

Orlando-based architectural firm DM Architect is also working on the project. Lord & Lord Consulting, which helps foreign companies invest in the United States, helped the deal in its early stages. Maria Luisa Lord, a Colombian-born lawyer and co-founder of Lord & Lord Consulting, previously shared GrowthSpotter that she helped Zicav Group form a Florida-based LLC for Zicav Group, helped connect the developer with project partners and found the land for the planned tower project.

Zicav Group primarily develops residential and commercial buildings in its home city of Barranquilla, Colombia. The proposed GZ Tower Universal is inspired by one of the developer’s prized Barranquilla properties, called GZ Tower, which offers furnished apartments that can be rented for days, weeks or months. The plans are to recreate that concept with GZ Tower Universal, located in one of Orlando’s major tourist centers.

GZ Tower Universal is planned for a prime, vacant lot about a mile from Universal Studios and just north of I-4.  (Orange County Real Estate Appraiser)
GZ Tower Universal is planned for a prime, vacant lot about a mile from Universal Studios and just north of I-4. (Orange County Real Estate Appraiser)

Located about a mile from Universal, the property is surrounded on all sides by hotels, including a Best Western Plus, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Extended Stay America, Holliday Inn Express & Suites, Residence Inn by Marriott, a DoubleTree by Hilton and a Comfort suites. Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando is located across Kirman Road.

The updated plans, submitted to the City of Orlando in late March, differ from the original 2022 conceptual plan. Those plans called for a 17-story tower with a six-story parking deck, along with an outdoor pool. sandwiched between the main tower and a separate 4-storey facilities building at the front of the property.

Do you have a tip about Central Florida’s development? Contact me at (407)607-8160 or [email protected]. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook and LinkedIn.