The Afin Developer Group won approval from the North Miami Beach Planning and Zoning Board for a 129-room Cambria Hotel at 163rd Street and 19th Avenue.
The new plan is for a smaller hotel than originally approved in 2015. The development will now span seven stories and 170,425 square feet, with 18,227 square feet of retail.
Afin’s original plan had called for a 231,045 square-foot, 11-story development with 165 hotel rooms and 18,036 square feet of retail.
Yet, the hotel market has changed over the last couple of years and a smaller hotel would be more financially feasible, Joseph Geller, the attorney for the developer, said at the board meeting on Monday night.
Meanwhile, hotel construction in South Florida is up, with nearly 4,200 new hotel rooms with 2.8 million square feet of space to be completed within the next two years, according to Lodging Econometrics data analyzed by Colliers International South Florida.
Under Afin’s new proposal, the retail will be anchored by a restaurant. On top of the retail will be two-and-a-half levels of parking. The main lobby will be on the fourth floor. A pool deck will also be on top of the garage.
Building four fewer stories will save money, Afin principal Alejandro Araujo said, because if a building is over 75 feet tall, it is considered a high-rise and the high-rise building code requires it to have certain fire and life safety equipment that are not required for a mid-rise building.
Araujo said it is too early to know the cost of the development, but he said he was looking for savings, because construction costs have gone up since the original plan was put together. As more and more buildings are rising in South Florida, labor, which has become harder to find, has also become more expensive. Plus, the tariffs imposed on Chinese steel recently have caused prices for that commodity to go up about 10 percent.
Ajaujo said he expects to break ground on the hotel either in December of this year or the first quarter of 2019.
The site for the Cambria Hotel, which is part of Choice Hotels, is currently vacant. An office building once stood there. The developer paid $2.3 million for the .86-acre site in 2012, records show.