The Chetrit Group, a New York-based developer that bought the Tides at 1220 Ocean Dr. last year and made it part of the hip King & Grove brand, is behind the planned restoration of the Collins Park buildings and the Hotel Versailles. The group is also planning an extension of the Tides as well as a project at the empty Fairwind Hotel at 10th Street and Collins Avenue.
Often finding themselves priced out of the heart of South Beach — or simply without anything to buy there at any price — investors are also looking north for opportunities.
New York-based Sydell Group, which owns the NoMad Hotel in Manhattan and developed the Ace hotels there and in Palm Springs, had five cities in mind when executives decided to start an upscale hostel concept. They found the first location off the beaten path in Miami Beach at the old Indian Creek Hotel, 2727 Indian Creek Dr., some 10 blocks north of the heart of South Beach buzz. After buying the hotel for $12 million in January and putting about $8 million into upgrades, the company will launch the new 65-room Freehand with a soft open in December.
Sydell Group CEO Andrew Zobler said the goal was to create a place with an affordable price point that would attract youth and energy — distance from the South Beach action notwithstanding.
“I really like the location. I think a lot of our audience are going to ride bicycles,” he said. “The beach is not that big a place. You can pop from one place to the next on a bicycle. I think a lot of the energy is moving up the beach.”
At the Lifestyle/Boutique Hotel Development Conference at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach earlier this month, a panel of industry experts agreed that the south doesn’t have a monopoly on buzz.
“South Beach is starting to creep up to this part of the beach as well,” said Patrick Goddard, president and chief operating officer of Trust Hospitality.
The popular W South Beach, at 22nd Street, and Perry at 24th have already pushed the hip factor far north of Lincoln Road, and the upcoming Edition at 29th Avenue is expected to do the same when it opens late next year.
Marriott announced two years ago that it was buying the old Seville Beach Hotel to become an Edition, a chic and exclusive new brand formed in partnership with hotelier Ian Schrager. The Miami Beach location will be the only one in the United States when it opens.
Jay Coldren, Marriott International’s vice president of lifestyle brands, said at the hotel conference that the company’s investment in the Edition is unusual — Marriott does not typically own the hotels it operates — and a sign of Miami’s significance in the world.
“We’re really serious about this market, the future of this market and what it means to the global positioning of the brand,” he said.
Slightly north of the Edition, the Saxony hotel at 3201 Collins Ave. is coming back to life courtesy of Argentine developer Alan Faena. And the old Cadillac Hotel at 3925 Collins Ave., now the Courtyard Miami Beach Oceanfront, changed hands late last year for $95 million. New owner Hersha Hospitality Trust is adding a tower with another 93 rooms to the property, scheduled for completion by the end of 2013.
Hersha, a Philadelphia company that also has property in New York, Boston, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and California, had been eyeing Miami for years before making the purchase. Back during the height of the real estate market, said CFO Ashish Parikh, prices were prohibitive.