Miami-Dade is a hotbed for international hotel brands
With a steady stream of international tourists contributing to record occupancy rates and revenue per room, investors, new hotel brands and international hospitality companies are buying and developing hotels in Miami-Dade at a fever pitch.
Greater Miami is now among the top three or four U.S. markets that international investors consider, says Gregory Rumpel, Miami-based managing director of the Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels & Hospitality Group. Fifteen years ago, these investors wouldn’t even look at Miami, he says, but now, backed by bullish lenders, private equity funds are buying up properties for renovation and repositioning them with higher room rates. Real estate investment trusts also are active, buying existing and under-construction properties.
The buying-and-building boom is also attracting money from the Middle East and families in Latin America. They’re investing in nearly every sector of the industry, although rarely in development of pure highend properties, Rumpel says.
Industry experts expect revenue per room will continue to rise, even as some 6,500 rooms come online during the next 2½ years. But revenue per room isn’t the only factor driving investment. During 2013, Miami-Dade became the first U. S. market to have more international visitors than domestic travelers — 50.2%, accounting for 70% of visitor spending. Investors see that non-U.S. demand as a base that has “proven to be very, very durable,” Rumpel says.
The market has also become less seasonal, says Bill Talbert, CEO of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau. “There’s some rate differences during the summer, but in terms of the number of visitors, it’s just about equal in all four quarters,” he says.
The hotel surge shows no signs of letting up. In Miami’s Brickell area, for instance, four new hotels are planned on South Miami Avenue alone, including the first U. S. properties for Chile-based Atton and Asia-based East. In the Florida Keys, seven major properties have traded hands during the past 18 months — all to real estate investment trusts. And, even as purchase prices set records, Rumpel sees no slowdown in demand. “The prognosis of the lenders, the investors is, ‘Yes, it may seem expensive, but there’s plenty of room to grow,’ ” he says.
About 30% of new prescriptions never get filled. One reason: The wait time it takes to fill a script — 45 minutes on average. GetmyRx, a service offered through apps for Android and iOS devices, launched in the Miami market last November and now serves all of south Florida as well as the New York City and Chicago metro markets. The app allows users to upload a prescription and have the medication delivered to their home or office within hours. “Miami was chosen as the app’s launch market for its large and diverse population, strong health care sector and supportive base of independent pharmacies,” says Luis Angel, the company’s founder and CEO.
When filling a prescription, users select from a list of participating local pharmacies, which deliver the prescription at no charge, after calling to confirm the co-pay. “We’re still in ‘launch’ phase in our key markets,” Angel says. “We sign up new drugstores each week.”
DORAL — As part of a requirement by regulators, U.S. Century Bank reached an agreement with two unidentifed investment groups that will recapitalize it to the tune of $65 million. Three previous recapitalization deals were withdrawn. > Boston-based Congress Group and Boca Raton-based Encore Housing Opportunity Fund paid $30 million to purchase a 25-acre parcel with an existing parking structure. The partners can build up to 600 residential units and 60,000 square feet of retail on the land, which is part of the Landmark at Doral community. BTI Partners and Westport Capital Partners sold the land.
MEDLEY — CVS Caremark agreed to acquire drugstore chain Navarro Discount Pharmacy, the country’s largest Hispanic-owned drugstore chain, with annual sales of more than $340 million. CVS plans to continue operating the chain under the Navarro name.
MIAMI — The PortMiami tunnel opened for traffc after a 76-day delay. The tunnel, which connects the port (on Watson Island) directly to I-95 and State Road 836, had been under construction since 2010. > Choice Hotels affliate CS Brickell purchased three parcels of land (a total of 22,500 square feet) in the city’s Brickell area, on which it plans to build a Cambria Suites hotel.
Regulators approved Apollo Bank’s bid to acquire First Bank of Miami; the acquisition doubles the bank’s asset base, gives it seven total locations and expands its lending capabilities. Apollo also raised $22 million from local investors. > Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services acquired independent insurance brokerage company Highland Capital Brokerage for about $42 million, marking the company’s entrance into the wholesale life insurance marketplace. > A study from the Miami Downtown Development Authority reported that resale prices for downtown Miami condos have increased 75% during the past two years, from $230 per square foot to $400.
Miami developer Ari Pearl and New York-based Chetrit Group purchased 6.2 acres along the Miami River with plans to build Miami Riverwalk, a mixed-use development including condos, a hotel and marina and retail and offce space.
MIAMI BEACH — Scheduled renovations at Miami Beach Convention Center caused the U.S. Travel Association to move its 2016 IPW trade show to New Orleans. The show usually draws about 6,000 hospitality industry professionals and journalists. The center’s $500-million renovation project will last three years. > After a $35-million renovation, the Gale South Beach hotel will debut the Gale Suites at Kaskades in December, with more suites, a gym and a 5,000-sq.-ft. rooftop bar and pool deck.
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY — The Beacon Council launched The Talent Development Network, which will collaborate with local universities to create more internships in Miami-Dade County. It also launched a second initiative, with a $250,000 donation from JPMorgan Chase, to work with the county school district, develop career tracks in seven target industries and create a talent portal to match employers and students.
Cofe ZM Dadeland purchased the Greenery Mall and Dadeland Square mixeduse complex in southern Miami-Dade County’s Kendall area for $56 million.