55 West’s Future Still Uncertain

After months of negotiations and hints that 55 West condos, downtown Orlando will be partially bought out by a major hotel company, word on the street is that the deal fell through – and they are back to the drawing board.

55 West, Downtown Orlando
55 West, Downtown Orlando

However in the Orlando Sentinel this morning, Bob Hensley, the developer overseeing 55 West for the Dutch bank that foreclosed on it last year apparently hopes they are only a few weeks away from announcing a new deal to bring a major hotel to the tower.

“We’re just kind of in limbo right now,” Hensley said. “We’ve got proposals on the table.”

Apparently, the hotel would take about 300 of the room, leaving about 260 condo for sale – or rent.

Condo Metropolis was told from a reliable source that “They are going to be leasing the units for long term lease and sell when the market turns.”

The top three floors originally designed as penthouses are apparently being left unfinished in the hope that someone will buy them to use as office space.

And what of the buyer deposits that were put down months ago?

“We’ve returned everyone’s deposits,” Hensley said.

What a mess. What a shame. What a magnificent building.


  1. Perhaps the Orlando Housing Authority could purchase 55 West on a short sale from the Dutch bank and use the building as low income apartments for all the Paramore residents displaced by the new arena and I-4 interchange construction projects.

  2. Update 2-3-09: The latest negotiations to add a hotel to the tower were unsuccessful. The developer has decided to lease the units until the market turns. Zom will be taking over the project. At this time, the rental prices or occupancy time are not known, however time-wise, it seems likely it will be spring or summer time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.