Real Estate Development

Danny pays $6 million for downtown Ocala land. What's the plan?

$6M Downtown Ocala Investment

Three pieces of prime real estate in downtown Ocala are now owned by local businessman Danny Gaekwad.

Where is the property?

According to a deed on file with the court clerk and records from the Property Appraiser's Office, Gaekwad bought 4.32 acres (three parcels total.) The deed was signed on April 28. A 1.86-acre parcel is at 203 E. Silver Springs Blvd. The second parcel, 2.30 acres, is just north, across Northeast First Street. The third, 0.16 acres, is an adjoining parking lot. All of the properties are within yards of each other. Both the 1.86-acre and the 2.30-acre parcels have existing buildings on them, and were once the home of SunTrust Bank/Truist Bank.

Who were the buyer and seller?

The buyer was BDGDDP Investments LLC, led by Gaekwad, who also owns the Hilton Garden Inn hotel on the downtown square. The seller was Silver Springs Development Co. LLC, based in Palm Harbor. What are Gaekwad's plans for the property? He told a Star-Banner reporter in an interview that he's undecided on what to do at this point with the properties. The parcels are very close to the Hilton Garden Inn.

Why did Gaekwad buy the property?

Gaekwad said he bought the land because Ocala "is ready for major developments," and he wants to continue "breathing life" into downtown. "That's my game plan," he said. He said he's a year or two away from putting together a concept for the properties. In the meantime, Gaekwad said he'll develop a perfect plan for the area.

What other projects does Gaekwad have in the works?

Danny is among those hoping to form a community bank that will serve Ocala, Gainesville and eventually other communities. "I'm committed to developing downtown," he said. Gaekwad said with his hotel and other business ventures, he has invested more than $30 million in downtown Ocala. He said he's presently negotiating with a brewing company to bring a business to downtown.

St.Thomas Five Star Luxury Resort

St.Thomas Five Star Luxury Resort

On a hill overlooking the Atlantic Ocean Water Bay from its seat on St.Thomas' northeastern shoreline, our five star luxury resort is currently under restoration and will feature 300 thoughtfully designed, well-appointed rooms and villas. A 2024 opening is goal to welcome guests with awe-inspiring views and a casual ambiance.

It's Utopia: Commission OKs 1,514-unit development off CR 42 near The Villages of Marion

It's Utopia: Commission OKs 1,514-unit development off CR 42 near The Villages of Marion

The plan is to build 770 single-family homes and 744 townhomes on 393.48 acres. The property is located west of Southeast 80th Avenue, east of Southeast 73rd Avenue, north of CR 42 and south of Sunset Harbor Road.

Located just north of County Road 42, 393.48 scenic acres are home to cows, wildlife and green pastures, all within a stone's throw of the northern border of The Villages of Marion retirement community. This land, zoned for urban growth years ago, received its final rezoning and PUD (planned unit development) approval last week Tuesday from the Marion County Commission, clearing the way for construction of 1,514 single-family and multifamily units. The only condition is that Utopia 42, LLC, which is owned by local developer Danny Gaekwad, must bring back a final master plan to be approved. The company also must conduct a thorough traffic study on the impact of the project on an already busy CR 42. The development cleared the first planning and zoning hurdle in December. It cleared its second approval on Tuesday after a lengthy debate about building heights and buffers. The plan is to build 770 single-family homes and 744 townhomes on 393.48 acres. The property is located west of Southeast 80th Avenue, east of Southeast 73rd Avenue, north of CR 42 and south of Sunset Harbor Road.

Apartments:584-unit apartment complex slated north of SR 200 on SW 60th Avenue
More apartments:88-acre apartment complex along SW 7th Ave. may grow to 1,146 homes
And even more apartments:More apartments planned in SW Ocala/Marion County

Ocala Downtown Hotel

portfolion real estate

New downtown mixed-use development includes a 90+ Room Hotel, Executive Townhomes, Restaurants and Retail Shops located across from the downtown square. $20 million project.

Groundbreaking in 2017, a City Public Private Partnership.

Tru Hotel by Hilton

tru portfolio

New 100 room Tru Hotel by Hilton, breaking ground in 2017 on Archer Road, Gainesville, Florida. $10 million project.

Gaekwad Village Project

canterbury circle hospitality

300 Unit Apartments, 4 acre commercial site plus 1095 home sites located at The Villages, Florida. $250 million project.

Gaekwad PUD

600 Residential Lots located in Lexington, KY.


Danny G Hospitality Management Owned and Operated Hotels

Since 1995, Danny has owned and operated dozens of franchise brands and independent hotels. In the last decade Danny has invested over $250 million in developing more than a dozen hotels with best in class features and amenities while managing five properties in Central Florida. Danny is a passionate hotelier and is driving DGHM into the 21st century in hotel management model and practices, perfecting the art and science of modern day hotel management.

Today, Danny and his team operate more than two dozen properties.



Danny owns and operates “Perkins” brand full-service family dining restaurants and bakeries in Florida. He also developed a concept for Brazilian steakhouse themed restaurants in Florida and owns a chain of nine American deli-style restaurants in Florida.

Sky Asian Fusion

Conceptualized and operates the award winning “Sky Asian Fusion” fine dining restaurant.

Sky Asian Fusion won the Golden Spoon award for nine consecutive years (2010-2018). It offers a cuisine blend from Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam. The eclectic gourmet cuisine and steak house concept is inspired from current trend and classic dishes like Fresh cut steaks, live Maine lobster, rack of lamb, fresh seafood such as sea bass, lobster, salmon and shrimp. The restaurant also features a sushi menu, sushi made with fresh ingredients. The award winning restaurant, is a place to be for one of a kind fine dining experience.

A collaboration of current lifestyle trends with classic Asian dishes that ensure a unique experience every time. The SKY's the limit each time you visit for lunch, dinner, or our incredible Sunday brunch.

Home2 Suites Hotel Under Construction (Ocala Florida)

Home2 Suites Hotel Under Construction (Ocala Florida)

Home2 Suites Hotel is new hotel project under construction in Danny's hometown of Ocala, Florida.

Home2: Suites By Hilton

Hospitality Ventures

Ocala RV Camp Resort

Ocala RV Camp Resort located on 20 acres with 200 sites and offers upscale amenities including a heated Olympic-size swimming pool.
Danny also owns more than 700 acres in central Florida zoned for commercial development.

Danny's Car Wash

Offering full-service car washing and detailing.


NDS Global

Since 1999, NDS Global has provided small- and medium-sized businesses with the type of high caliber IT enterprise architectural services that were previously only available to, and affordable for, Fortune 300 companies.

Through our headquarters in Ocala, Florida and our IT Enterprise Development Center of Excellence in Mumbai, India, we provide deep domain and subject matter expertise to clients across multiple industries including manufacturing,finance and banking, healthcare, education, and local and federal government agencies. With a focus on ERP and CRM consulting, strategy, implementation, upgrade, and support services we believe that there is a custom-made solution to help your business achieve greater success through innovative and cutting-edge solutions.

We are passionate about what we do and we genuinely care about the success of your business. After all if you’re successful, we’re successful.


Danny owns ISOCORP, a leading provider of enterprise network security solutions protecting confidential and valuable information and data assets for clients throughout North America.


University of Central Florida

Board Member

In 2018, Danny was appointed by Florida Governor Rick Scott to serve on the University of Central Florida Board of Trustees. In the past three decades, he has served on the boards of numerous public, private and nonprofit organizations. He is an Executive Board member of Enterprise Florida, Inc., a public-private partnership between Florida’s business and government leaders, since 2009. He also serves as an Executive Board member of Visit Florida, the official tourism marketing corporation of the state and on the Board of Directors for The Florida Chambers. Recently, he was appointed to the Transition Advisory Committee on the Economy by Governor-Elect Ron DeSantis.

Enterprise Florida

Executive Director

Danny serves on the board of Enterprise Florida, a private-public group of government and business leaders thatis known as the state’s principal economic development organization.


Executive Director

Danny is an executive board member of VISIT FLORIDA, the official tourism marketing corporation of the state. VISIT FLORIDA serves as Florida's official source for travel planning to visitors across the globe. VISIT FLORIDA is not a government agency, but rather a not-for-profit corporation created as a public/private partnership by the Florida Legislature in 1996.

Ocala Tourism Development Commission

Executive Director

Danny served as former Chairman, Marion County Visitors and Convention Bureau. The Tourist Development department, through the Ocala/Marion County Visitors and Convention Bureau, leads markets and grows Marion County’s travel and tourism industry. Founded in 2004, the bureau enhances the local economy by using innovative and efficient methods that attract visitor dollars and contribute to Marion County’s recognition as a viable vacation destination.

Marion County Planning and Zoning

Vice Chairman

The Planning Division of the MarionCounty Growth Services Department manages existing and future development by encouraging the availability ofadequate services and facilities, ensuring the wise use of our natural resources, promoting awareness and consideration of cultural resources, and facilitating the protection and enhancement of the quality of life in Marion County.

Florida Chamber of Commerce

Board Member

Danny serves on the board of directors, Florida Chamber of Commerce, a hundred-year-old trade body that promotes a business friendly climate and jobs creations in the state.

Florida TaxWatch

Board Member

Danny serves on the board of directors with Florida TaxWatch. As an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit taxpayer research institute and government watchdog for forty years, Florida TaxWatch works to improve the productivity and accountability of Florida government. Its research recommends productivity enhancements and explains the statewide impact of fiscal and economic policies and practices on residents and businesses.

Florida Sports Foundation


Danny serves on the board of directors of the Florida Sports Foundation, a 501(C)3 non-profit corporation. It is the official sports promotion and development organization for the State of Florida. It is charged with the promotion and development of professional, amateur, recreational sports, and physical fitness opportunities that produce a thriving Florida sports industry and environment.

World Trade Center, Orlando

Board Member

Danny serves on the board of directors of World Trade Center Orlando, a valuable regional tool that empowers members to increase their trade by tapping into the World Trade Center Association’s vast network. WTCO provides comprehensive international trade services and key global contacts to facilitate and expand trade for regional and worldwide clients.