Aloft Orlando Downtown

DATE: 2013
LOCATION: Orlando, Florida, USA
OLD USE: Office
NEW USE: Hotel


History

Located in downtown Orlando on the north side of Lake Lucerne, this eight-story structure was built as the headquarters of the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC). Built in the 1960s, the building served as both office and retail space for the Commission’s utility customers for four decades. The building was vacated in 2008 when the OUC moved to a new headquarters nearby.[1]

(Re)Developer

For more than 40 years, the GDC Companies have been leading community developers throughout the southern and northeastern United States, building and acquiring thousands of apartment homes, condominiums and townhouses. GDC Properties was founded in 1994 by Samuel Ginsburg to specialize in the development, management and acquisition of residential and commercial income properties. Today GDC Properties boasts a diverse portfolio comprised of shopping centers, apartment communities, residential condominiums and office buildings.[2]

Aloft Hotels was launched in 2005 as “a vision of W Hotels” by parent company Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.[3] Aloft is a hotel that celebrates the individual and gives you freedom to control and customize your travel adventure to fit your personal style. It is a place where walls have been knocked down to create a space that is open in design and open to possibilities. A place where energy flows, personalities mingle, and opportunities abound. A place where anything can happen.[4]

Outcome

In the spirit of Aloft’s environmental spirit, GDC Properties took on the conversion of the old office building by striving to attain LEED designation.[5] Although the project require a near gutting of the interior as well as a significant asbestos removal program, they were able to retain a number of key architectural features throughout the building. Teak panel and marble walls from the office spaces were kept.[6]

From the outside, the building retains its modernist design elements helping it to maintain its connection to the surrounding downtown area. Inside, the 118-room hotel, modern bar, and eatery also benefit from the 10-foot ceiling heights of the original building. Environmentally-friendly construction materials and mechanical systems were used for the project, helping it to attain LEED designation.[7]

[1]Orlando Sentinel
[2]GDC Properties
[3]Wikipedia
[4]Aloft Hotels
[5]GDC Properties
[6]Orlando Sentinel
[7]Prevue

Images courtesy of The Daily City and Google Streetview, Prevue, and Bungalower.