The old OUC building, built in 1967, sat vacant for a few years and avoided demolition when New York-based GDC properties LLC purchased the building. With an $18-million dollar investment, the building is being repurposed as the chic boutique hotel, Aloft. Those that travel Orange Avenue have seen the Aloft construction walls for months. While the exterior remains seemingly unchanged, the interior and the outside patio/pool area are near completion. The hotel is scheduled to open its doors September 26, 2013, and take reservations for stays on or after October 24.
As of June, 2012, the “old OUC building” has become one of the newest additions to the National Register of Historic Places. Edits were made to the renovation plans and while the Aloft division of Starwood Hotels can be described in one word as “swanky”, we will likely see some original features of the building preserved and featured in the design. While incorporating design elements of Starwood’s W brand, Aloft caters to a more budget-conscious clientele. Stylish lounges encourage visitors to spend more time mingling with other guests and the community. The 119-room hotel will include a pool, fitness center, and bar/lounge.
Aloft is located across from the future Dr Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and a short walking distance to the Amway Center events, fabulous dining, and entertainment. Aloft will surely be a welcomed option for Downtown Orlando visitors.
Article by Michael Leanna