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(Carl Cronan is editor of Real EstateFlorida.)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL-Glendale, CA-based Sierra Land Group plans to build an 11-story, 300-room Embassy Suites Hotel along State Road 535 south of Osceola Parkway, just three miles from the main gate to Walt Disney World. The new hotel, scheduled to open late next year, is the company’s first hotel project in the Orlando metropolitan area since 2003.

Orlando-based Helman Hurley Charvat Peacock Architects has been commissioned to design the new Embassy Suites, which will include convention space, an upscale atrium restaurant and a resort-style outdoor pool. HHCP previously worked with Sierra Land Group on its expansion of the Caribe Royale Orlando hotel.

“This is our first new hotel development in recent years,” says Eric Rosenbaum, vice president of Sierra Land Group. He adds that its properties have historically been independent, yet it will work with Hilton Hotels Corp. on the new venture.

Approximately 34,000 hotel rooms surround Disney World, either on resort property or elsewhere within Lake Buena Vista, according to the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau. Orlando is the nation’s second-largest hotel market with 112,000 rooms, attracting 48.7 million visitors from around the world last year, the bureau states.

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