Years ago, efforts to bring an aircraft manufacturer to Melbourne has come a long way and has brought much more.
“When I first came on the (Melbourne Airport) Authority the buzz word around town was Project Jaguar,” said Jack Ryals, chairman of the Airport Authority. “Everybody was wondering what is was and, of course, that was Embraer. I was told that if we could land Embraer that would open the floodgates and it has.”
When Ryals ask what else was needed by Embraer, the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer, he was told a hotel.
Today, after years on the wish list, authorities broke ground, marking the official start of construction on the 143-room Hyatt Place Hotel that is to open next year.
The hotel is being built on airport property at Air Terminal Parkway and NASA Boulevard. Eventually, customers will be able to park their general aviation or corporate aircraft near the hotel and go directly to the lobby.
“Today we’re beginning a new chapter,” said Greg Donovan, executive director of Melbourne Orlando International Airport.
“Airports truly are the front door to the community. It’s the most important meeting you can have.”
Not only will the new hotel serve the aerospace companies that are located near the airport, but also an influx tourists that are expected beginning March 7. That is when British company TUI begins bringing passengers from England and Scotland. About 150,000 passengers a year are expected.
“I’m really excited about this venture,” Melbourne Vice Mayor Tim Thomas said.
Donovan said the airport has invested $120 million over the past five years on the terminal and the runway.
“This project is so much more to us,” said Adam Broadway, president and CEO of Certified General Contractors. “We’re super excited about this project.”
The hotel, which is being developed by Adelon Capital of Hollywood, Florida and Certified General Contractors of Melbourne, will have a roof-top bar and an outdoor swimming pool, and will offer views of aircraft landing and taking off.
“I look forward to opening this amazing hotel,” said Daniel Berman, president of AD1 Management.