As Miami-Dade real estate and hotel markets boom, more players want in
By: Steve Gara
According to a Miami Herald report, Miami real estate
is headed upward and more players are wanting in. Case in point:
A Miami-based private equity firm, with capital from Turkey, Brazil and Peru, is snapping up prime South Florida real estate
, including the historic Surf Club in Surfside.
Fort Capital focuses on prime, often waterfront, real estate, typically in distress or in need of a change. The firm bought most of the Capri South Beach and repositioned the Miami Beach condominium. It acquired The Strand restaurant in South Beach and the nearby Pelican Parking garage, and earlier this year added the Millennium at Bay Harbor condominium to its portfolio.
In another instance, the trailblazing Delano, which revitalized the destination in 1995 and is now being marketed for sale after an $11 million renovation, is flanked by the historic National Hotel, in the midst of a major restoration, and the Philippe Starck-designed SLS, formerly the Ritz Plaza, which opened in June after eight years and about $85 million.
“Miami is a hot market now, so it’s hard to get a hotel,” said Keith Menin, principal of Menin Hotels
, which is developing the latest — but certainly not last — addition to the busy scene. The company’s 87-room Gale South Beach & Regent Hotel at 1690 Collins Ave. is set to open in early December, more than a year after finishing most of the renovations on the family-owned Shelborne just up the road.
After a recession-fueled pause, when visitor numbers dropped and financing dried up, Miami-Dade is in the throes of a hotel buying-and-building boom. Or, more appropriately, a re-building boom.
Local investment is following a national trend.
Shelling out billions
According to a recent report from Bjorn Hanson, a dean at the Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism
and Sports Management at New York University, the lodging industry is expected to shell out a projected $5 billion this year on upgrades after curtailing spending since 2009.
Improvements could include everything from redesigned lobbies to better technology in rooms and meeting areas and more appealing fitness centers and restaurants, according to the report, which notes that the expected spending boost is due to vastly improved occupancy numbers and average daily rates.
In Miami, industry experts say robust tourism numbers, the scarcity of available land and the willingness of banks to lend money again are drawing waves of investors who see hotels in the destination as a must for their portfolios. Potential buyers include private equity firms, real estate investment trusts, major brands and some foreign investors…
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