The EB-5 developer of a $24 million, Miami airport hotel broke ground on Thursday with plans to close an $8 million construction loan in July.
The hotel, at 3450 Northwest 25th Street, is the first of three projects in the pipeline for Riviera Point Development Group, CEO Rodrigo Azpúrua told The Real Deal. The property will also be the first Radisson RED, a millennial-oriented brand, in the U.S.
Riviera Point is investing $4.5 million into the project and securing $11.5 million in EB-5 financing, with the majority of investors coming from South America, he said.
The controversial visa program grants permanent U.S. residency to investors (as well as their immediate family members) who create at least 10 domestic jobs and invest at least $500,000 to $1 million in a U.S. business venture. Congress extended the EB-5 program until April 28, marking another short-term renewal of the legislation.
The Radisson hotel will create 280 jobs, and investors will earn 3.5 percent on their investments with no share in profits.
When it’s completed during the second quarter of next year, the 155-key, six-story hotel will have an OUIbar + KITCHN, pool and gym, rooftop bar and lounge, and a game room. Hotel guests will also offer guests keyless entry via a mobile app.
Records show the developer paid nearly $3 million for the roughly 1-acre plot in November 2015. Modis Architects designed the property, which Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. It joins a number of new hotels planned for the airport, including a TownePlace Suites by Marriott that’s set to open in the next few months.
Azpúrua said his firm also just acquired a 3.3-acre site in Orlando, about half a mile south of Sea World on International Drive. La Quinta is branding the first hotel, and the second on the site will be a Radisson RED. EB-5 investors are funding $12 million, or a third of the cost, for both hotels, Azpúrua told TRD.
In all, Riviera Point is planning to build or acquire 1,500 hotel rooms in the Southeastern U.S. over the next few years.