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Dec. 14, 2012

South Florida Hospitality Sector in Spotlight as Two Luxury Hotels Trade

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor

As a diverse mix of leisure and business travel drives strong hotel performance in the Southeast, investors seem to be more and more eager to enter the South Florida hospitality market. Given that the state’s leisure travel drove a 3.3 percent increase in room demand in the first half of the year, three times as many economy hotels changed hands over the past 12 months than in the preceding period, a recent Marcus & Millichap report finds. Luxury hotels didn’t fall behind either.

Among the properties to trade is the Sofitel Miami Hotel, recently acquired by the Laurus Corporation. The 14-story luxury property sits on 10 acres with a total of 281 rooms and 17,351 square feet of meeting and event space. The site also includes an additional 1.3 acres that allows for the potential development of either a build-to-suit Class A office building or an additional 100 guestrooms.

Located at 5800 Blue Lagoon Dr.—adjacent to Miami International Airport and the Waterford business park—the Sofitel Miami Hotel was built in 1986 but underwent a renovation process in 2000. Nevertheless, Laurus plans to invest approximately $4.5 million in implementing a renovation program to upgrade the property.

David Aim of AIMCAP and partner Robert Kaliner of Ascend Group also successfully acquired the full-service and all-suite Atlantic Hotel in Fort Lauderdale this past week.

The Atlantic Hotel and Spa is a Mediterranean-style luxury condominium hotel project with as many as 124 residential units. Located in the heart of Florida’s Gold Coast overlooking 23 miles of beach, the hotel features upscale amenities that include a 10,000-square-foot European-style spa and fitness center, heated outdoor pool and whirlpool, and 24-hour room and concierge service.

“This acquisition was part of Ascend Group’s strategic plan to increase its portfolio position in the luxury sector of both residential and commercial properties,” said Robert Kaliner, chief of Ascend Group. “We are excited about continuing to make this spectacular property the best asset in Florida.”

AIMCAP has big plans for the resort and will be adding improvements to the lobby, restaurant and other facilities, as well as other additions that have yet to be announced.

Images: The Atlantic Hotel and Spa via Google Images