Driftwood scores $28M construction loan for Flagler Village hotel

Dev Motwani’s Merrimac Ventures is a partner in the 218-room dual-branded hotel development

Rendering of hotel project at 315 Northwest First Avenue and Driftwood's Carlos J. Rodriguez
Rendering of hotel project at 315 Northwest First Avenue and Driftwood's Carlos J. Rodriguez

Driftwood Acquisitions & Development just scored nearly $30 million in construction financing for its dual-branded hotel in Fort Lauderdale’s Flagler Village neighborhood.

Property records show 315 Flagler Owner, LLC, led by Driftwood principal Carlos Rodriguez, secured $28.48 million from Bank OZK, previously known as Bank of the Ozarks. The Arkansas bank has been one of biggest construction financiers in South Florida and across the country, and is reponsible for about a quarter of South Florida condo construction between 2013 and 2017.

Driftwood is partnering with Dev Motwani’s Merrimac Ventures to develop the project, which is currently under construction at 315 Northwest First Avenue. Records show a partnership led by Motwani acquired the development site in January 2016 for $1.9 million.

The planned 19-story hotel will operate under the brands Tru by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton. The hotel will have 112 rooms under the Tru brand and 106 extended-stay rooms under the Home2 Suites brand with separate lobbies. The project is expected to be completed by May 2020.

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Jordan Ray, Stephen Emery, Ari Hirt, Jamie Matheny and Lexington Henn of Mission Capital Advisors helped arrange the financing.

Driftwood owns and manages more than 45 hotels across the United States, according to its website.

The dual-branded hotel joins a number of developments underway in the trendy neighborhood, including the Gallery at FATVillage, a 14-story, 168-unit project being developed by the Related Group and partners Doug McCraw and Lutz Hofbauer. Miami developer Ricardo Vadia also plans to build a rental project at 626 Northeast First Avenue.