The Real Deal Miami

Fontainebleu bets big on refurb

November 10, 2008 10:13AM

The $500 million renovation of the 1954 Fontainebleau hotel is a bet to
restore the property to its former glory as South Florida’s star
destination once the hotel officially reopens Friday. Current owner Jeffrey Soffer began the
transformation when he launched two condo-hotel towers there before buying the resort itself in 2005.
The towers added 679 rooms to the Fontainebleau’s 876, a 78 percent
increase. They also brought a windfall, with roughly 90 percent of the
units sold, according to an analysis by condovultures.com.
To refurbish the hotel itself, Soffer shut two main buildings for two years, gutted their
rooms to the studs, dug up the pool and all but demolished the ballrooms. The
price: roughly $570,000 per renovated room.