(Carl Cronan is editor of Real Estate Florida.)

TAMPA, FL-Locally based Plasencia Group Inc. has been hired by FelCor Lodging Trust Inc. to handle the sale of two of its largest hotels, the 652-room Holiday Inn Orlando International Drive Resort and the 500-key Holiday Inn Cocoa Beach Oceanfront. Both hotels are among eight properties being marketed by FelCor around the US.

GlobeSt.com reported earlier this month that FelCor was putting hotels in Florida, Texas, North Carolina and Kansas up for sale as part of a customary circulation of its portfolio to grow shareholder value. The Irving, TX-based REIT, which has 14 hotels in Florida, also looks to sell its 277-room Embassy Suites-Bay Meadows hotel in Jacksonville.

FelCor stated that the two Holiday Inns in Orlando and Cocoa Beach had been designated for conversion to condominiums, but the market for such units is no longer feasible in Florida. The company recorded a $40-million impairment charge in its third-quarter financials related to both properties.

“There has been a considerable amount of interest in these two properties,” says, Dennis Reed, senior vice president of the Plasencia Group’s Southeast regional office in Tampa, who is directing FelCor’s marketing efforts. “They both occupy strategic locations in their market, and the redevelopment potential for both is considerable at the appropriate time in the future.”

FelCor claims to be the largest owner of upper-upscale, all-suite hotels and resorts with 85 properties throughout North America, of which 70 were renovated over the past year. The REIT reports a total enterprise value of $2.2 billion through the third quarter.

The Plasencia Group is a national hospitality investment consulting and advisory firm providing investment opportunities and services to life insurance companies, banks and pension funds. It also serves owners of hotels, resorts and golf courses in the US, Canada and the Caribbean.