Downtown Orlando’s  list of new development projects is ever growing as the city gets into gear with the $1.3 billion SunRail  commuter train and kicks off its newest visioning efforts,  Project Downtown Orlando.

Downtown is a hotbed of major public-private construction activity, including work on the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and SunRail, but private developers also are hard at work on new projects, bringing in hundreds of temporary construction jobs, plenty of new commercial space to attract more companies to the central business district and revitalizing the overall area.

Related:  More details emerge on Orlando’s multibillion-dollar project lineup

Here’s a closer look at a couple projects by  Mr. Downtown himself, Craig Ustler of Ustler Development Inc. — one underway, and one set to break ground:

  • Construction began about a week ago on the new $27.4 million, 138-room Residence Inn by Marriott at Orange Avenue and Colonial Drive, which will include a ground-level restaurant and integrated parking. The project is a joint-venture project with Pinnacle Hotel Management in the Uptown neighborhood. Maitland-based Welbro Building Corp. is the project general contractor, Orlando-based Baker Barrios Architects is the designer, AAOF is the equity partner with Cohen Real Estate Capital brokering that deal, and Regions Bank is the construction lender. The hotel is slated for a mid-2015 completion.

The  hotel also is within walking distance of the SunRail station at Lynx Central Station, one of four stops in the city of Orlando.

  • Work should start this year on the long-planned 800 N. Orange complex, a four-story building with 17,124 square feet of rentable office space with first-floor retail. Ustler Development had  initially planned to start work in January, but it hasn’t broken ground yet. Ustler declined to share more specifics on the project.

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