Dream Hotel to anchor $185M riverfront project on site of the Wharf Miami

200K sf project to include 165-key Dream Hotel, nightclub, day club with pools

From left: Carlos Rodriguez Jr. of Driftwood Capital, Alex Mantecon of MV Real Estate Holdings, and Jay Stein of Dream Hotel (MV Real Estate Holdings, Driftwood Capital, Dream Hotel)
From left: Carlos Rodriguez Jr. of Driftwood Capital, Alex Mantecon of MV Real Estate Holdings, and Jay Stein of Dream Hotel (MV Real Estate Holdings, Driftwood Capital, Dream Hotel)

A Miami developer is partnering with Driftwood Capital to develop a Dream Hotel-anchored hotel and entertainment complex on the site of the popular Wharf bar and event venue along the Miami River.

City of Miami voters approved an agreement in 2016 that gave MV Real Estate Holdings, led by Alex Mantecon and Guillermo Vadell, a long-term lease for half of the site. MV also owns the other half. The assemblage is in an Opportunity Zone.

The project, called the Riverside Wharf, is planned to have two 10-story buildings with a 165-key Dream Miami hotel. It will also have food, beverage and entertainment venues that include an expanded and new version of the Wharf, amenities, a deep-water yacht marina and a public riverwalk, according to a release.

MV Real Estate Holdings brought on its partner, Coral Gables-based Driftwood Capital to develop the 1.5-acre Miami River property at 114 Southwest North River Drive. Miami Worldcenter developer and Merrimac Ventures Managing Partner Nitin Motwani is also a general partner in the project, Mantecon said.

Dream has a long-term agreement with the developers to brand and manage the hotel, as well as several food and beverage concepts, said Jay Stein, CEO of New York-based Dream Hotel Group.

The developers expect to seek project approvals from the Miami River Commission in January, and then will go before the Miami City Commission, according to Mantecon of MV Real Estate Holdings.

The 200,000-square-foot project is planned to include 16,000 square feet of restaurants, a 12,000-square-foot event hall, a 30,000-square-foot nightclub and rooftop dayclub, and 600 feet of river frontage. It’s being designed by John Cardello of Cube3 architects with landscaping by Savino-Miller Design Studio.

Garcia’s Fish Market could also open a pop-up market on the property. The site was previously home to its commercial fishing operation.

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Mantecon said he expects to break ground by the end of next year and complete the project in 2025. Since voters approved the lease agreement with the city, the project has grown in size, Mantecon said, and the annual rent to the city will outperform the original numbers.

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The developers will take advantage of the site’s Opportunity Zone status, Mantecon said, citing Driftwood’s experience in developing in the federally designated zones.

The hotel will be in one building and include a roughly 10,000-square-foot rooftop, and the entertainment complex will be in the other building with a 30,000-square-foot rooftop, said Stein of Dream Hotel. The two rooftops will connect via a bridge.

(Courtesy of Dream Hotels)

Stein called the project “so unique and so rare,” especially with its proximity to downtown and the marina component.

Development has ramped up along the Miami River. Chetrit Group recently secured a $310 million construction loan for its $1 billion mixed-use mega development planned for a riverfront site on the south banks. Developer Harvey Hernandez also plans a three-tower project along the river. The largest completed project to date is River Landing Shops & Residences, with multifamily, offices and retail.

Dream Hotel Group has about 20 projects in the pipeline, with at least three properties expected to open next year in New York, Belgium and the Middle East, Stein said. In South Florida, it has Dream South Beach at 1111 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach.