Brickell’s Conrad is getting a renovation after hotel sells for $72 million

The Conrad Brickell Downtown hotel in the iconic Brickell Arch Tower has been sold for $72 million to new owners.
The Conrad Brickell Downtown hotel in the iconic Brickell Arch Tower has been sold for $72 million to new owners. Conrad Brickell Downtown

The Conrad Brickell Downtown hotel in the iconic Brickell Arch Tower has been sold for $72 million, one of few hotel sales in the booming downtown corridor in recent years.

Miami-based investment and development firm Mast Capital and investment adviser Angelo, Gordon & Company closed the sale of the property from Miami-based Holborn LC on Thursday. Included in the sale is the 203-room hotel, built in 2004, its rooftop amenity deck, and a rental program that includes 41 of the 116 luxury residential units in the Brickell Arch Tower.

Connecticut-based HEI Hotels & Resorts, which manages nine hotels in Florida, will manage the Conrad, which will remain a Conrad Hotels & Resorts franchise.

Mast is planning a massive renovation for the property, 1395 Brickell Ave., transforming the hotel’s lobby, pool area, restaurant and guest rooms, Camilo Miguel Jr., CEO of Mast Capital, said in an interview with the Miami Herald. Timeline and cost for the renovation have not yet been disclosed.

“As a real estate developer, one of the exciting things about what we do is when you build a project that has self-contained amenities and the neighborhood it sits in is an amenity to your project,” Miguel said.

The Brickell neighborhood — and all of downtown Miami — has grown exponentially in recent years, most recently adding the Brickell City Centre outdoor shopping center and mixed use complex and the Philip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science in downtown.

The areas has also experienced a hotel boom in the last year, with new properties such as East, Miami, The Langford and ME Miami cropping up. A Yotel and Marriott Marquis Miami Worldcenter Hotel are in the works. But hotel sales have been more rare.

The last hotel to be sold in Brickell was the iconic Viceroy Miami. It sold for $64.5 million in June 2016 and was rebranded as Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ W Miami. Just north of downtown Miami, the Miami Marriott Biscayne Bay was sold to an Arizona-based company for $38 million in March. In 2015, the InterContinental Miami in the heart of downtown sold for $302 million when it was bought by the New York-based Blackston Group.

Alyce Robertson, executive director of the Miami Downtown Development Authority, said the Conrad sale, and its high sticker price, are a testament to the current level of investment in downtown.

“One of the things that you’re seeing is that investors are betting on downtown because of what already has been happening in downtown,” Robertson said. “Then you have something like the Conrad that is a new investment, a new charge of money, and shows that they are going to stay competitive with the new hotels.”

But Mast Capital is investing at a time when Miami-Dade’s hotel industry has been struggling. Miguel said there is positive outlook for the market — hotel numbers have recently been trending up — and he expects the Conrad to be a long-term bet that will prove fruitful once the current challenges abate.

“All markets have cycles to them. I think Miami is very resilient,” Miguel said. “I look forward to that resiliency continuing.”

Miguel said he also hopes the sale and renovation of the hotel will create increased interest in the Conrad and downtown as a whole.

“Competition is healthy. I think [the sale of the Conrad] brings more attention to the Brickell neighborhood,” he said. “This all feeds into each other and it creates a great ecosystem.”

Chabeli Herrera: 305-376-3730, @ChabeliH