Sixty Hotels growing with Miami Beach project


A shuttered hotel is set to reopen at the end of the year as the Nautilus South Beach.

A new hotel management company with properties in New York and Los Angeles is venturing into Miami Beach with the work-in-progress formerly known as the Continental Oceanfront South Beach Hotel.

The 251-room hotel at 1825 Collins Ave., which was purchased in 2011 with plans for a renovation and reopening in 2012, is finally set to make its debut as the Nautilus South Beach by the end of the year.

Sixty Hotels, the operator, announced Monday that the property, which opened in 1950 as the Nautilus, would become the fifth in its portfolio.

Representatives for the company would not say how much money is going into the transformation.

“I think it’s safe to say it’s a gut renovation of our structure and it’s a full South Beach luxury repositioning,” said Jason Pomeranc, co-founder of Sixty Hotels.

The Nautilus South Beach will include 29 suites and two penthouses; a new restaurant, lobby lounge, event space, pool bar and fitness center are also in store. China Grill Management and chef Claude Troisgros will revive the Blue Door concept — formerly at the Delano — with French and Brazilian influences.

Meant to evoke an “unpretentious beach vibe,” the hotel’s decor will be peppered with nautical touches and materials including gray concrete, stones and linen. Design is by Caroline Giraud-Sukornyk of CG Design, and Arquitectonica is handling the architectural work. Morris Lapidus collaborated on the original design.

Pomeranc said he expects the final product to feel comfortable and welcoming but also stylish, like “an aspirational sense of what you would like your home to be — your Miami Beach home.”

Gregory Rumpel, managing director of Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels in Miami, brokered the original sale, and said he believes the scope of the project has changed “probably to the betterment of the ultimate product as the market continued to strengthen and solidify.”

“That translated into more time than I suspect they would have liked,” he added. “But at the same time I think what’s going to be delivered there is a spectacular property relative to what it was.”

The Continental Oceanfront operated as economy lodging on a stretch of South Beach that has been undergoing significant upgrades. In recent years, several newly renovated hotels have reopened, including the SLS Hotel South Beach, the Redbury South Beach and the Gale South Beach.

And more investment is on the way: Fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger and Mongeau Capital recently purchased the Raleigh Hotel, the nearby Shelborne is nearing the end of a massive renovation project and the Shore Club is also expected to be “re-imagined” after being purchased several months ago.

All of the work, Pomeranc said, “is really making the whole area stronger.”

Weston-based InSite Group and Cube Capital bought the Nautilus property for $61 million in a joint venture. Cube Capital last year spun off its real estate business into a group called Quadrum, which is now considered the owner of the hotel with InSite.

The property was originally going to become part of B Hotels & Resorts, which is based in Weston; it was unclear Monday when and why those plans changed.

The new managers, who have had longstanding relationships with Quadrum, also have a history with South Florida.

Pomeranc founded Sixty Hotels with Stephen Brandman, who along with Pomeranc’s brothers Michael and Larry established Thompson Hotels in 2001. Ten years later, that company merged with Joie De Vivre Hotels to become Commune Hotels & Resorts. The original Thompson team parted ways with Commune late last year and started Sixty Hotels.

Both Thompson and Commune had interests in Miami Beach: The Hotel Victor on Ocean Drive was a Thompson hotel for a while, and Commune is converting an apartment building into a Roosevelt-branded hotel in mid-Miami Beach.

“For us, it’s nice to be back in Miami,” said Brandman, who managed the InterContinental Miami in 1994.

Pomeranc said Miami Beach was “the next logical growth city” for Sixty Hotels.

“It truly is, in and of itself, a global capital and destination,” he said.

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