The Real Deal Miami

Dual-branded Starwood coming to downtown Fort Lauderdale

Wurzak Hotel Group, Dove Hill partnership acquired the property for $12M in June

August 13, 2015 02:15PM
By Katherine Kallergis

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Renderings of Tribute and Element hotel in downtown Fort Lauderdale, and Jake Wurzak

Renderings of Tribute and Element hotel, and Jake Wurzak, principal of the Wurzak Hotel Group

Developers of a new, dual-branded 323-key hotel will break ground in downtown Fort Lauderdale – complete with a rooftop bar and locally managed flagship restaurant – this fall, The Real Deal has learned.

The Wurzak Hotel Group and investor DoveHill will develop the Starwood property. It will feature Starwood’s recenty launched Tribute Portfolio and the eco-friendly Element brands, Wurzak principal Jake Wurzak told TRD.

The 24-story hotel, at 299 North Federal Highway, will be in the heart of Fort Lauderdale‘s Flagler Village district. Wurzak Hotel Group will manage the 209-room Tribute and the 114-room Element. The property will include a shared street-level entrance, a sky lobby on the seventh floor with a bar, a gym, and an indoor and outdoor pool deck on the 24th floor pool deck – the latter of which will be complete with cabanas, landscaping and views of the ocean.

“We’ll have the only rooftop bar in Fort Lauderdale actually on the roof,” Wurzak said.

The development will also include 12,000 square feet of retail space, which will be geared toward lifestyle and fitness concepts, he said. The flagship restaurant, located on the corner of U.S. 1 and Southeast Third Street, will be run by a South Florida-based restaurant group. The property will also include a 206-space parking deck.

“The retail is really what’s going to help create the vibrancy of the neighborhood,” he said. “We’re also targeting a high-end spinning concept of Barry’s Bootcamp-type” for the remaining 5,000 square feet.

The hotels will focus on attracting millennials, corporate guests and locals, Wurzak said. DesignAgency is the interior designer, and Sol-Arch is the architect. Construction will be completed in 2017.

A Wurzak, DoveHill partnership acquired the property for $12 million in June, according to Broward County property records. It was the site of the Fairchild Funeral Home & Cremation Center.

The Element will include modular furniture and fully equipped kitchens. Amenities will include access to Element’s complimentary Bikes to Borrow program. Element was established in 2008, while the Tribute brand launched in April at the Royal Palm South Beach. The company is aiming to have 100 independent properties join Tribute by 2020.

Wurzak, who lives in the area, is excited about the rapidly expanding downtown Fort Lauderdale market. Earlier this year, a 33-story, 217-unit condominium tower was proposed for the Flagler Village area.

“I’m a Fort Lauderdale resident, so this is personal for me and my company,” he said. “We’re going to redefine the skyline in our area.”