HSF Funds Hotel Construction Near Disney World With $140M Loan


Doradus Partners has pinned down a $140M construction loan to build four new hotels near Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, according to HALL Structured Finance (HSF), which originated the debt. 

The Huntsville, Ala.-based developer plans to use the proceeds to bring a total of 997 new guest rooms to Flamingo Crossings Town Center, a Disney-backed shopping complex that the entertainment giant is building about three miles southwest of its Magic Kingdom theme park. The new hotels will include a 273-room Fairfield Inn by Marriott, a 272-room Home 2 Suites by Hilton, a 229-room Homewood Suites by Hilton and a 223-room Residence Inn by Marriott.

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An HSF spokeswoman declined to provide the terms of the loan.

The Doradus hotels will make up a portion of the seven lodgings that are planned for Flamingo Crossings. Two others, a SpringHill Suites by Marriott and a TownPlace Suites by Marriott, are already up and running. The development will also include 200,000 square feet of retail, as well housing for some of the thousands of college students that Disney hires as temporary workers.

Target and Walgreens both plan to open stores at Flamingo Crossings. Ben & Jerry’s, Dunkin’ and Five Guys will be among the food sellers. 

Three of the four planned Doradus assets — all but the Fairfield Inn — will be extended-stay hotels, a strategy designed to serve families visiting the area’s theme parks, according to Brad Ferguson, the HSF executive who originated the loan.

“The extended-stay hotels are intended to capture families who want to have a kitchen, a living room and a little bit of extra space, who are going to be in the area for a little bit of extra time,” Ferguson said. 

Guests will be able to book rooms through Disney’s website as well as from Hilton and Marriott, which, Ferguson said, should boost their visibility with travelers.

More than 52 million people visit Disney World each year, but the planned properties will have to vie against the 36,000 hotel rooms located within the resort for those guests. Ferguson also pointed out that Disney World is not the only attraction that brings people to the area.

“It’s a unique destination. There’s one primary demand driver, but there’s also the convention center, SeaWorld, and Universal Studios,” Ferguson said.

Those two theme parks are both about 10 miles from Flamingo Crossings.

Disney first announced plans for the shopping development in 2007, but delayed work the site when the 2008 recession began, according to Orlando Weekly. The 450-acre budget-oriented development will angle to compete with two similar non-Disney retail campuses nearby: Winter Garden Village in nearby Winter Garden, Fla., and Margaritaville Resort Town Center in Kissimmee.

Doradus Partners couldn’t be reached for comment.