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Front Page » Top Stories » Historic South Beach Hotel To Become Ritz Condos

Historic South Beach Hotel To Become Ritz Condos

www.miamitodaynews.com
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Written by on June 15, 2006

By Eric Kalis
The site of the historic Seville Beach Hotel in Miami Beach will be expanded and the building renovated in December for the construction of The Ritz-Carlton Club and Residences, South Beach.

The 131-unit luxury development will drop the hotel element for a combination of residences wholly or partially owned.

Plans are about 75% complete, said co-developer Edgardo Defortuna of Fortune International, which is working with Seville owner Lionstone Development on the project. Lionstone plans interior renovations at the 51-year-old Seville building, 2901 Collins Ave., and to build 17-story and 20-story buildings. Miami architect Luis Revuelta is designing the buildings.

Maintaining the character of the Seville, Mr. Defortuna said, is a priority. "Because of the historic designation of the Seville, we can only make limited exterior changes," Mr. Fortuna said. "The interior will be gutted and redone, but we will preserve some of the elements of the original hotel – like the Matador Room in the shape of a bullfighting ring and the distinct gold mosaic tiles.

"The two residential towers next to the Seville will have spectacular views of the ocean. We are exploring adding a site on the west side of Collins Avenue for another smaller building with residences, pending final approvals from city officials."

The Miami area has more Ritz-Carlton properties than any urban area in the US except Washington, said Ritz-Carlton marketing director Scott Oldakowski. Company researchers determined the Seville might be a promising location based on Lionstone’s success in renovating the DiLido Hotel at 1 Lincoln Road.

Lionstone has managed residential properties in South Florida for 30 years.

"To build a Ritz-Carlton complex, we have to find an A-plus property," Mr. Oldakowski said. "Obviously, South Beach is an A-plus area, and the opportunity to use the Seville was presented through Lionstone, our longtime partner. Our market study indicates that this property fits the bill."

The complex will have one- to six-bedroom units ranging from 941 to 7,300 square feet with prices beginning in the $900,000s. The complex will offer 86 whole-ownership residences. A total of 45 fractional units will be available to Ritz-Carlton Club members for 21-day periods. Portions of the 21 days can be used at other Ritz-Carlton Club locations.

Response from prospective buyers has been strong, Mr. Oldakowski said, since the sales program began in March. Occupancy is scheduled for 2009.

"This type of project is somewhat unique, a Ritz-Carlton development without the transient component," Mr. Oldakowski said. "It will be very exclusive with all the amenities and services offered in the hotel system available at this location. The oceanfront environment is an important element in making this an ideal spot."