Tight land inventory squeezes out new hotels

May 15, 2013 02:00PM

Fontainebleau Miami Beach condo-hotel

A dearth of land in Greater Miami is pushing hotel developers further north than they’d like, Miami Today reported.

Would-be hotel investors from Eastern Europe and South America – as well as other U.S. cities – are striking out at their attempt to grab a piece of Miami’s hotel industry, the newspaper said.

Soaring land prices and construction costs are barriers for national hotel chains, Guy Trusty, president of Lodging & Hospitality Realty, told Miami Today. Developers would have to look to the northern reaches of Miami-Dade County or southward towards the Everglades to find a deal.

“Lots of demand but the economics don’t work, by and large,” Trusty said.

Boutique hotels and hotel-condo projects are two concepts that do work, according to Greenberg Traurig real estate attorney Gary Saul. Lenders prefer the quick cash from condo sales, he said.

Buyers like the perk of hotel-grade amenities, including concierge, room service and housekeeping. [Miami Today]Emily Schmall