Major expansion of Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood gets initial OK

Brookfield is looking to sell the 1,000-key resort, which could expand by 500 rooms

TRD MIAMI /
May.May 07, 2019 05:34 PM
Diplomat Beach Resort Hollywood and a map of the proposed land usage

Diplomat Beach Resort Hollywood and a map of the proposed land usage (Credit: Agoda)

Plans for a major expansion of the Diplomat Hotel in Hollywood advanced Tuesday as the Broward County Commission gave preliminary approval to a land-use proposal for the development site.

But the proposal is far from finalized. And exactly who would expand the Diplomat is unclear because the hotel is for sale.

Brookfield Properties, which owns the Diplomat Hotel through its Thayer Lodging Group subsidiary, is behind the expansion plan and the land-use proposal. The county commission’s action on Tuesday advanced a plan to build a second hotel building with 500 rooms across the street from the 1,000-room Diplomat at 3555 South Ocean Drive in Hollywood. The building would be part of a mixed-use development along the Intracoastal Waterway that also would add 150,000 square feet of convention and meeting space and 350 residential units.

Wilson C. Atkinson, an attorney with law firm Tripp Scott who represents Brookfield, said the second hotel building would replace commercial space between two existing parking garages on the west side of Ocean Drive, across from the Diplomat’s current location, and it would “mirror” the architectural style of the Diplomat, including “the opening at the top of that tower where air goes through it,” Atkinson said.

County commissioners passed for state review a change to the approved land use for the 19-acre Diplomat property between the ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway, from “medium-high residential” and “commerce” to “activity center.”

Brookfield spokesperson Bruce Wiles told county commissioners that the hotel is doing well. “We’re bringing in large conventions that previously hadn’t been to Broward County … We’re producing record revenues for the county and Hollywood.”

But Brookfield has been trying to sell the Diplomat, too, so by advancing the land-use proposal, the company also is offering a potential opportunity for a new owner to expand the hotel, one of South Florida’s largest.

Two real estate firms – Newmark Frank Knight and Hodges Ward Elliott – have been hired to find a buyer for the Diplomat, which has been listed for sale since January. Bloomberg reported at the time that the oceanfront hotel could trade for $1 billion, or $1 million per key.

Thayer Lodging acquired the Diplomat property for $460 million in 2014, and soon after, changed the Diplomat’s brand affiliation from Westin to Curio, part of Hilton system. Wiles said Brookfield has invested $85 million in the Diplomat.

After it goes to the state, the Broward County Planning Council and the commission would have the final say.

The planning council in January said it was concerned about “its negative impact to emergency shelter capacities” for people on Hollywood’s barrier island under a hurricane threat. Some commissioners also expressed concern Tuesday about the impact of an expanded Diplomat Hotel on nearby emergency shelter capacity, and they suggested that failure to resolve the issue could block final approval of the land-use proposal if it advances to a second review by the county commission.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
A conceptual rendering and Lon Tabatchnick

Margaritaville developer plans another Hollywood hotel despite opposition

Orangebrook Mobile Home Estates and Carlyle Group co-CEOs Kewsong Lee and Glenn A. Youngkin (Credit: Google Maps, Carlyle Group)

Private equity giant scoops up mobile home park in Hollywood

From left: James Grage, Matthew Elliott, and Marc Hameroff, with the home

Fitness expert wants to shed his Hollywood home via auction

Daily Digest Miami

Project with downtown Miami’s first brewery moves forward, startup aims to institutionalize investing in Miami condos: Daily digest

Luna at Hollywood, Peter Mekras of Aztec Group

Luna at Hollywood sells for $19M in bulk condo deal

Jeffrey Soffer and the Diplomat Beach Resort (Credit: Getty Images)

Jeffrey Soffer in talks to buy 1,000-room Diplomat Beach Resort for under $1B: report

Left to right: Debbie Orshefsky, Seth Bour, Vivian Dimond, Peter Flint, Tim Wheat and Chip Abele

Hollywood attracts developers but lacks new office space: panel

Moses Bensusan and Costa Hollywood Resort (Credit: Wikipedia)

Embattled Costa Hollywood Resort files for bankruptcy

arrow_forward_ios