ORLANDO-The rush to build luxury condominium hotels along with residential condos near the four-million-sf Orange County Convention Center has a new player in Fort Lauderdale-based Hospitality Development Group.

The developer plans to break ground by fall on Palazzo del Lago, a 14-story, 1,260-room hotel that will be operated by London-based InterContinental Hotels Group as the largest InterContinental-brand property in its worldwide portfolio of 136 hotels in 60 countries.

The $800-million hotel will be adjacent to Villas at Palazzo del Lago, a planned $200-million, 994-unit residential condo community to be housed in five 18-story towers. The 42-acre development site is on International Drive at Lake Bryan.

The hotel component will overlook the lake. About 585 the 1,260 rooms will be sold to investors at starting prices in the $400,000-per-room range, according to the developer. The hotel is being designed for 114,000 sf of meeting space, a spa, five restaurants and a private beach on Lake Bryan. The resort is tentatively scheduled to open in 2009.

The resort has been planned for the past nine years when development partners Jerrold R. Krystoff and Daniel Adache began buying up small tracts near Lake Bryan, area industrial brokers who were aware of the developers’ long-range plans tell GlobeSt.com.

Hospitality Development Group’s project follows plans by CMA Cos. of Miami to break ground in November on the first phase of Blue Rose Resort, an envisioned $600-million, 1,300-room, 41-story investment-styled hotel that will be built on 13 lakefront acres one miles from the convention center, as GlobeSt.com reported Feb. 14.

The InterContinental-brand hotel and adjacent residential condos will also be competing for convention center business with the 20-year-old, 891-room Peabody Hotel which plans to add 750 rooms in 2007, and Orlando developer Harris Rosen’s 1,500-room Rosen Shingle Creek Resort.

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