New downtown Orlando hotel to integrate SunRail

ORLANDO, Fla. - A new hotel planned for downtown will be the first to integrate SunRail when it opensĀ  in 2017.

[PICS: New high-rise proposed in Orlando]

A 13-story, 200-plus room Hyatt Place is in the early planning stages, but is set to occupy a parking lot at Garland Avenue and South Street in the heart of downtown. It's just steps from the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center, City Hall and the Amway Center.

According to Hyatt, they are working with the Florida Department of Transportation to relocate the southbound SunRail platform to the east side of the planned hotel. That means trains would pull up right underneath the high rise.

Hyatt officials say they want to take advantage of the new mode of transportation, connecting hotel guests directly with SunRail. They hope SunRail will eventually be able to take guests to and from the airport.

FDOT told Local 6 they have begun conversations about the plan, but have not determined how moving the station, which only opened several months ago, would work or who would pay for it.

The construction plan for the Hyatt Place went before Orlando's Appearance Review board Thursday, where members gave the initial nod, taking a look at the project, but not officially taking any action. The board will need to give final approval of the plan before it goes before the City Commission.

Brett Lasher, of Hyatt, said what he calls a business boom downtown is what got the company's attention and drew them to make plans to build.

"Downtown booming from a business, cultural, sports perspective. All those trends point to increased demand for hotel rooms," said Lasher.

Several other hotels have eyed downtown. Aloft opened last year and the Orlando Magic's planned entertainment complex also includes plans for a hotel.

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