Richard Branson’s Virgin Hotels unveils plans for first Miami hotel, co-living included

Developer Blue Jay Capital is in contract to purchase the Brickell site, set to close in the first half of 2020

Sep.September 23, 2019 05:30 PM
Rendering of Virgin Hotels Miami and Richard Branson (Credit: Getty Images)

Rendering of Virgin Hotels Miami and Richard Branson (Credit: Getty Images)

Richard Branson’s Virgin Hotels revealed the site of its first Miami hotel, a 40-story property in the Brickell neighborhood, with plans for a co-living component.

The hotel is one of at least two that Virgin Hotels plans to operate in the Miami area, according to AFAR, which first reported the news. The second will be in South Beach.

Miami-based Virgin Hotels is partnering with Blue Jay Capital on the Brickell project, a nearly 250-key hotel at 1040 South Miami Avenue. Blue Jay Capital, a Key Biscayne-based firm led by developer Eric Soulavy, is in contract to purchase the property as part of a deal that’s expected to close in the first half of next year.

Blue Jay Capital will break ground on the project in 2020, and Virgin Hotels Miami is expected to open in 2023, according to a press release. The hotel will have a spa, a communal work space called the Funny Library Coffee Shop, over 15,000 square feet of meeting and event space, and food and beverage outlets that include the Commons Club, a restaurant, bar and social club, and a beer garden live music venue.

The residential portion will take up 15 stories and have 150 micro and co-living units – all of which will be furnished rentals, Soulavy said via email. The residential component will have its own entrance. Residents will have access to the hotel’s common spaces and amenities. The building will mark Virgin Hotels’ first mixed-use residential project. Units will start at under 400 square feet and go up to four-bedroom co-living apartments.

Developers are increasingly adding co-living to their projects to appeal to renters who are willing to sacrifice space in exchange for an urban core location in amenity-rich buildings.

Virgin Hotels is based in Miami and led by CEO Raul Leal. The company’s hotel pipeline includes properties in Dallas, Nashville, New York City, Las Vegas, Silicon Valley, New Orleans, Edinburgh and Palm Springs, according to its website.

Virgin Group already had a presence in Miami. In April, Brightline USA was rebranded as Virgin Trains. At the official unveiling, Branson promised to “sprinkle some Virgin magic” on the MiamiCentral train station, north of the Brickell hotel site.

The Brickell property will have a car elevator system for valet parking. Blur Workshop is the architect. “The project was designed with minimal parking and the ability to reposition parking levels to alternative uses in the future,” Soulavy wrote.

Leal of Virgin Hotels was not immediately available for comment.

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