As we reported earlier this year, Epic Universe will not only contain a hotel connected to the back of the theme park, but Universal Orlando is also planning to add more hotels nearby.
One of these new nearby hotels, known as Project 912, will be built first according to permit information filed with Orange County. New documents indicate that major construction on this project will be underway within the next few months.
Located a couple miles south of the current Universal Orlando Resort, the new Epic Universe theme park is being built now. In addition to the main theme park area, the company also owns satellite parcels that surround the park, which may be used for hotels, or other uses.
One of those parcels is located directly across the street from the main entrance to the future theme park. This is where documents say Project 912, a new hotel, will be built.
Project 912 has been rumored to contain around 750 rooms. It will be situated on the corner of Universal Boulevard and the soon-to-be extended Kirkman Road. When completed in late 2024, the extended Kirkman Road will connect the existing Universal Orlando Resort areas to the new Epic Universe area.
According to permits, the contractor for this new hotel will be the same contractor for Universal’s Endless Summer Resort, Finfrock. Finfrock specializes in precast concrete structures, which allow for incredibly fast built times.
Groundbreaking for Project 912 had been rumored for as soon as sometime this summer, and as late as August. New documents requesting the arrival of cranes to the work site may give us a better idea of the construction timeline for this new hotel.
Height waivers filed with the FAA show that three cranes are scheduled to arrive on October 25, 2022, and they will be on site through March 17, 2023. That gives them a little under 5 months to raise the precast concrete walls for this new hotel, if that is in fact how it will be constructed.
Endless Summer’s Surfside Resort took only 15 months to build from groundbreaking, and if this resort will be built using the same technique, it could be completed and ready to open as early as the start of 2024.
The Epic Universe theme park is set to open by Summer 2025 at the latest, so it is possible this new hotel may not be in such a hurry to open, but it could be ready before the new theme park.
Other recent permits filed with the county are for “mock-up rooms” to be constructed in a nearby warehouse. These model suites will be used to show contractors what the finished rooms for this new hotel will look like.
Permits for these mock-up rooms even include working electrical, plumbing, and HVAC, all configured exactly as they will be within the real hotel suites once built.
Many of these permits were originally filed in late 2019 through early 2020, but were not finalized and approved until recently. As with major work on the theme park itself, this project was delayed due to complications arising from the pandemic.
We will be keeping an eye out for work on this upcoming hotel. The parcel is mostly cleared, and prep work for construction has been approved. If the crane reports are correct, we should see the concrete walls being poured by the fall, in preparation for the cranes to lift them into place between October and March.
This same process of preparing and lifting walls is happening now in the backstage area of the Epic Universe theme park. The walls for the new park’s Team Member services building were just lifted into place, and the walls for massive warehouses have been poured and are awaiting placement next.