Hotel developer picks up site near downtown Miami: $8M

Property's zoning allows for up to 36 stories of new development

Feb.February 19, 2016 12:00 PM

UPDATED Feb. 19 11:49 p.m.: A company linked to a Miami-based hotel firm just paid $8 million for prime land in Miami’s Arts & Entertainment District near the Venetian Causeway.

The property, located at 511 Northeast 15th Street, currently houses a small single-story commercial building that was occupied by Sun Electronics. Its lot size is 11,700 square feet and the property is right up the street from the former Miami Herald building that’s being redeveloped by the Genting Group.

For the last 18 years, the building’s been owned by John A. Kimball, a renewable energy advocate that founded Sun Electronics in 1989. He paid only $440,000 for the downtown Miami property in 1998, according to Miami-Dade County records.

Now, Kimball has sold his corner shop to a Florida company named One Miami Biscayne Bay/Arts District Hotel. It’s managed by Vinay Rama, CEO of hospitality investment platform Mandala Holdings.

Mandala focuses on buying, building and managing hotel properties, according to its website. The company is currently developing two Orlando hotels for a total of 360 rooms.

Rama told TRD that he’s considering a “number of design options” to build a hotel at the site.

“We feel that the site offers incredible views and is perfectly situated to tap into the energy of the up and coming Arts & Entertainment District,” Rama said in a statement.

Details about the project are not yet available. However, its T6-36b zoning allows for up to 36 stories under the Miami 21 code. If Mandala enrolls in Miami’s public benefits program, which entails making a payment to the city’s Public Benefits Trust Fund or building a public fixture either on or off-site, the property’s limitation can be bumped up to 60 stories.

Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Vinay Rama was affiliated with Orlando hospitality firm JHM Hotels. Neither this acquisition or Rama are affiliated with JHM. 

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