BIG completes acquisition of Orlando hotel

Hotel investment company Banyan Investment Group (BIG) has acquired the 213-room Castle Hotel, Autograph Collection by Marriott in Orlando for an undisclosed price. The hotel recently underwent a comprehensive, $8.2-million investment to improve guestrooms, public spaces and the building exterior.

“Orlando, with its multitude of theme parks, golf resorts, outside adventures and fine dining options, continues to be the No. 1 destination for leisure travel and conventions in the country,” said Samir Yajnik, principal/EVP of investments, BIG. “We are bullish on the Orlando MSA, particularly the I-Drive submarket. The Castle Hotel is the only four-star Marriott product within walking distance of the convention center. It is ideally suited for upscale visitors looking to stay with one of the most trusted hotel companies in the world. With the increased traffic to the convention center, airport and area attractions, as well as the expected opening of Epic Universe by Universal, the collective, positive impact on the hotel will be substantial, allowing the hotel to quickly take its place as the rightful market and segment leader. We believe the continued increase in demand for the submarket will drive increased cash flows at the property. It’s important to note that hotels reprice rates daily, and we believe that the investment offers a beneficial inflation hedge to our valued investors.”

The Castle Hotel is across the street from the under-construction Epic Universe, a 750-acre, $1-billion theme park expected to open in 2025, which will be the largest Universal Park in the U.S. and the second largest globally. It is expected to be five times the size of Disney’s Magic Kingdom and increase Universal’s existing footprint by three to four times, according to BIG.

The hotel also is adjacent to the 270-acre Lockheed Martin regional headquarters that employs 8,000 people and creates additional demand from defense contractors, government and related industries.

Berkadia arranged the sale and financing of the property. Berkadia Hotels & Hospitality’s Michael Weinberg and Preston Reid, managing directors, and Wyatt Krapf, senior director, represented the sellers, Waramaug Hospitality and Contrarian Capital Management.

Weinberg secured acquisition financing on behalf of BIG. MetLife originated the three-year loan with two one-year extension options.