Bal Harbour Sheraton to remain open through February
By Charlotte Libov
Bal Harbour's Sheraton Hotel, tentatively scheduled for demolition this month to make way for the $1 billion 511-unit St. Regis-Bal Harbour Hotel and Residences, will remain open through February to accommodate tourists for the Super Bowl and the International Miami Boat Show.
Developers pushed back the date because town approval of the project took longer than expected, according to Alicia Cervera Lamadrid, president of Related Cevera Realty Services, the company handling sales of the luxury project.
"The approval process for the St. Regis got held up until February, which was six to eight months later than we had expected, and that pushed back our timeline," she said.
In the meantime, since the demolition was postponed, the developer - a joint venture of Starwood Hotels and the Related Group - decided to keep the hotel open through February.
"The city was concerned about losing those rooms, so it wasn't a horrible job to wait another month or two and keep it open," Ms. Lamadrid said.
The Bal Harbour Village Council approved the 511-unit project in February after several town meetings, a public hearing and a design overhaul. The current project features three 26-floor towers constructed primarily of glass, an underground garage and pools and recreational facilities for each tower.
No demolition date has been set. Construction of the 511-unit St. Regis is expected to take three years, with the opening scheduled for June 2010, Ms. Lamadrid said.
The St. Regis is about 22% sold, Ms. Lamadrid said. "We've only been accepting signed contracts since April, and we have over $250 million in sales."
The project includes 268 condominiums, 36 condominium hotel units, 24 St. Regis Residence Club units, one presidential suite and a 182-room hotel, she said. The Bal Harbour St. Regis will be similar to one in Aspen, CO, she said.
Condominiums range from 1,777 to 3,880 square feet and are priced at $1.8 million to $6 million. The condo-hotel units range from 1,310 to 1,475 square feet and $1.9 million to $2.5 million, she said.
Most buyers are from the US, but "it's very international," she said. Recent buyers came from New York, China, Mexico, Argentina and France, she said. Ms. Lamadrid said most are purchasing second homes.
"A lot of people have been coming to Bal Harbour for a long, long time and are really excited that there is something of that level," she said. "They are happy that they don't need to fly in their own staff and that the service will already be there."