Following a delay in construction, Homewood Suites is ramping up to launch in January in the Brickell area – filling somewhat of a void in extended stay hotels in the Miami neighborhood.
Hilton executives held a tour of the construction site on Friday as the brand prepares to open up to 40 properties in Latin America. Bill Duncan, global head of Homewood and Home2 Suites by Hilton, said the Brickell property is key to the brand’s expansion into Latin America.
The eight-story Homewood Suites, at 1750 Southwest First Avenue, will have 671 square feet of meeting space, a business center, gym, elevated swimming pool, 59 studio rooms and 43 suites with home offices and living rooms. Baywood Hotels owns and will manage the 111,687-square-foot hotel.
“The Brickell market has really blossomed and bloomed … But it’s actually a variety of travelers that have come in – it’s the vacationer, its the corporate customer, it’s the person on a special project in that area,” Duncan told The Real Deal.
Homewood revealed a model room of the Latin American prototype, which includes more high-rise properties, smaller rooms and underground parking. A studio room in the United States is 423 square feet, while a typical room in Latin America will be about 330 square feet, Duncan said.
The market for extended stays in Latin America is “underserved,” he said. “It’s very reminiscent of what was happening in the U.S. in the late ’80s. We’re taking advantage of the opportunity and redefining our spaces. The further you go south into Latin America, space becomes more reminiscent of what you see in Europe.”
Duncan compared the prototype to a New York City apartment, and said that the U.S. is facing similar challenges. “There’s not as much land anymore and it’s getting more expensive to develop,” he said.
Baywood paid $2.1 million for the 15,000-square-foot lot in September 2012, according to Miami-Dade property records. It’s south of Mary Brickell Village and Brickell City Centre, the $1.05 billion mixed-use project which will have retail, residential, office and hotel components. Portions will begin opening by the end of this year.
The Brickell Homewood Suites site, which offers views of Simpson Park, the Metromover and Brickell Avenue, will also target “people who commute that work in a different part of the city, but want to be in the Brickell area,” Duncan said. “That’s part of the routine at home and they like that part of the routine.”
One other extended stay exists in the area: an Extended Stay America at 298 Southwest 15th Road. And Latin American hotel brand Atton is opening its first U.S. location down the road from Homewood Suites at 1500 Southwest First Avenue in downtown Miami.
The Brickell Homewood will be valet-only, with nearly 50 parking spaces and an overnight parking rate of $25, General Manager Alan Koplo said. It will include a guest market, coffee and breakfast area, and a 700-square-foot pool area, the latter of which will not include an outdoor grill like those in other Homewood Suites hotels.
While the Brickell location and the Latin American prototype are different from the brand’s other properties, they maintain key elements such as designated work, lounge, entertainment and sleep zones within rooms and suites; breakfast areas; and mini business centers.
Homewood Suites is also expanding in Florida, with the Miami Dolphin Mall location, Cape Canaveral-Cocoa Beach, Seaworld and Sarasota/University Park. Fourteen Hilton properties with 1,815 rooms are in the pipeline in Miami, a spokesperson told TRD.
The average length of stay at a Homewood Suites is about four nights, but 45 percent of guests stay for longer, with a handful who are guests for up to two years, depending on the market, Duncan said.
“When you’re away from home for extended periods of time, consistency and quality are incredibly important,” he said. “If you get too far out and too elaborate, that consistency becomes harder to maintain.”