Selina hotel brand plans expansion into Miami market

First property, former Tower Hotel, to open in September

Selina hotels and Steven Ohayon
Selina hotels and Steven Ohayon

Selina, a hospitality brand that combines co-living, co-working, hotel and hostel, has tapped Miami as its first major U.S. expansion city.

The company is looking to acquire and redevelop up to 2,000 beds in Miami, said Steven Ohayon, vice president of business development. It’s starting with the former Tower Hotel property in Little Havana’s neighborhood. Selina plans to open that property, a 62-key hotel with 220 beds, in September. Rates will be in the $30 to $60 a night range for bunk beds and $200 to $600 a night for private rooms.

“We’re scouring a lot of interesting pockets of Miami,” Ohayon said, referring to Wynwood, North Beach, South Beach, downtown Miami and other neighborhoods.

Selina has 24 properties open in Latin America and 15 under development. The company, which started in Panama, is looking at opening hotels in Brooklyn, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Boston, the Carolinas, Texas and the West Coast.

Ohayon said Selina looks for existing buildings that are “ripe for repositioning.” The company hires local carpenters and artists to make furniture from existing materials. Selina opens a workshop at the property, where workers spend about three months making furniture.

Selina’s business model is significantly less expensive than the traditional hotel branding. It invests only $3,000 to $4,000 per bed, Ohayon said, which would come out to between $660,000 to $880,000 for the Little Havana property at 1450 Southwest Seventh Street.

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Property records show Tower Hotel LLC, led by the Barlington Group principals Martin Pinilla and Bill Fuller, own the Tower Hotel site.

Selina typically signs triple-net leases for a minimum of 20 years, and doesn’t invest in major construction or hard costs, Ohayon said.

It’s also planning to roll out a membership program, similar to Roam, a network of “co-living” properties that includes the former Miami River Inn. 

At Selina’s Little Havana hotel, the property will include about 80 desks for co-working space, a food and beverage concept run by Mad Room Hospitality, a pool, bakery/coffee shop and restaurant.

The company also opened a store and co-working space at 2819 Northwest Second Avenue in Wynwood called Selina Brawlers, a collaboration between Selina and Brothers and Brawlers that sells products designed by them.

An earlier version of this story misspelled Steven Ohayon’s name.