What’s in the Works Down South?

NATIONAL REPORT—Hotel projects are underway in Florida, Louisiana and Texas. Tourist destinations, resort areas and historic districts are all seeing some developments:

Drury Hotels Developing First Property in the Disney Springs Resort Area
Drury Hotels Company is developing the Drury Plaza Hotel Orlando Lake Buena Vista and will begin to welcome guests by spring 2021. The new property, located in the Disney Springs Resort Area in Orlando, FL, is the company’s first Official Walt Disney World Hotel and the fourth Drury Hotel in the state. The entire project—which includes 604 rooms and more than 12,000 sq. ft. of meeting space—will be complete by the end of 2021, with the first 264 rooms available by spring 2021. The new hotel will feature a host of amenities and is in close proximity to the Walt Disney World Theme Parks.

Banyan Cay to Partner with Gencom for Hotel in West Palm Beach, FL
Banyan Cay Dev, the development arm of Banyan Cay Resort & Golf, is partnering with affiliates of Gencom at the Banyan Cay Resort & Golf development. The new partnership ensures the resort will be completed on schedule with an expected early 2021 opening date, according to the companies. Benchmark Hospitality will take over management of the existing golf operations and upon completion, of the hotel operations. The 150-key hotel and the 22 luxury villas will complement the residential development already underway, “Residences at Banyan Cay.” Jacob Companies will resume construction at Banyan Cay after pausing during negotiations with Gencom, as well as new management and hotel brand negotiations.

Four Seasons to Debut in New Orleans
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts together with developers Carpenter & Company Inc. and Woodward Interests LLC will open a luxury hotel and private residences in downtown New Orleans in late 2020. The property is owned by Two Canal Owner LLC, in which both developers are partners. The property will debut as the Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences New Orleans. Within the World Trade Center, the new Four Seasons will be located next to the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, financial center, French Quarter and Warehouse District. Following renovations, the World Trade Center will be refreshed with a new podium and public spaces, as well as the 341-room hotel and 92 private residences on the top floors of the building. The hotel will also have meeting and event spaces, four food and drink outlets, retail spaces, spa facilities and a rooftop pool.

The Loren Hotel Group Expands with Property in Austin, TX
New York-based The Loren Hotel Group, founded by Stephen King, is expanding with The Loren at Lady Bird Lake in Austin, TX. Site work is currently underway, and the opening is scheduled for the first quarter 2022. The new property will have 108 guestrooms, 26 two- to four-bedroom condominiums for sale, including two penthouses, a rooftop restaurant and bar, a spa, gym and pool. The Loren Hotel Group has worked with Hall Structured Finance, a Dallas-based direct private lender, Rhode Partners, Drenner Group, Hoar Construction and Fleur-de-lis Interior Design on the project. The property is on the shore of Lady Bird Lake between the pedestrian path across historic Lamar Boulevard Bridge and Butler Park Pitch & Putt and close to downtown Austin.