Starwood Capital wants to build a new HQ in Miami Beach

Investment firm plans to move out of 1601 Washington Avenue in January 2021

Barry Sternlicht and Miami Beach (Credit: Max Pixel)
Barry Sternlicht and Miami Beach (Credit: Max Pixel)

Barry Sternlicht’s Starwood Capital Group plans to develop a new headquarters in Miami Beach to move into by 2021, according to a memo sent out to employees reviewed by The Real Deal.

In the memo, Starwood-owned LNR Partners said it is “in the process of finalizing plans with Barry [Sternlicht] and our partners at Starwood Capital to build a new world-class headquarters office here in Miami Beach for our combined staff, which we expect to have available as our current lease expires at 1601 [Washington Avenue.]” The memo noted the company’s growth in Miami.

No address for the new headquarters was given. A spokesperson for Sternlicht, chairman and CEO of Starwood, did not respond to requests for comment on the plans.

Founded in 1991 by Sternlicht in Greenwich, Connecticut, Starwood currently has 3,800 employees in 10 offices worldwide, according to its website. The company recently updated the website to list Miami as its headquarters.

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Property records show West Collins Land Investors LP, an entity linked to Starwood’s Greenwich, Connecticut office address, owns a 28,500-square-foot parking lot at 2340 Collins Avenue that it purchased for $5 million in 2012. It’s across the street from 1 Hotel & Homes, which Starwood and the LeFrak Organization completed in 2015.

Starwood subsidiary Starwood Property Trust acquired LNR, the largest commercial special servicer in the U.S., in 2013 in a $1.05 billion deal. More than a year ago, Starwood Capital moved its corporate headquarters to 1601 Washington Avenue, where LNR had long maintained offices.

LNR holds the master lease for the entire building, where it occupies about 80,000 square feet, or nearly three-quarters of the 110,000-square-foot building, and subleases out the rest of the space. That master lease expires in January 2021. In December 2016, the Nightingale Group paid $80 million for the building. Nightingale didn’t respond to a request for comment.

While Sternlicht appears as the managing member of more than a dozen entities in Florida corporate records — including ones with such names as Starwood Headquarters LLC, Starwood Land, Inc. and Starwood Development Corp. — none of them appear to own any real estate in Miami-Dade County, according to property records.

Sternlicht has taken a liking to Miami Beach. He owns a massive waterfront property on North Bay Road, where he paid $17 million for the site and tapped Kobi Karp to build out the home.