Ruger proposes 76-room hotel near Miami Beach Convention Center

German-based firm would partially redevelop existing 56-unit apartment building built in 1926

A photo illustration including a rendering of Riviera Plaza at 337 20th Street in Miami Beach (Getty, Shulman & Associates)
A photo illustration including a rendering of Riviera Plaza at 337 20th Street in Miami Beach (Getty, Shulman & Associates)

Ruger Holdings KG plans to convert an apartment building near the Miami Beach Convention Center into a hotel, The Real Deal has learned.

On Monday, the Miami Beach Preservation Board will consider Cologne, Germany-based Ruger’s proposal to renovate and partially demolish Riviera Plaza, a Mediterranean Revival building at 337 20th Street. Completed in 1926, the three-story structure has 56 one- and two-bedroom apartments, records show.

Ruger, led by CEO René Gerdom, wants to add two floors, as well as a rooftop pool and garden. The revamped property would have 76 hotel rooms, according to a letter of intent filed with the city of Miami Beach. 

Riviera Plaza was originally a hotel that was converted into a multifamily building, Gerdom said via email. “We would like to bring Riviera Plaza back to its historic use,” he said. “Its location between the beach and the convention center makes it predestined for hotel use.”

In 2015, a Ruger affiliate paid $41.3 million for Riviera Plaza, records show. Construction on the proposed redevelopment would begin next year, and will cost $22 million, Gerdom said. 

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Ruger’s proposed hotel could potentially benefit from spillover business from a Grand Hyatt-branded convention center hotel with 800 rooms planned by a joint venture between Coconut Grove-based Terra and Aventura-based Turnberry Associates. 

Last year, the historic preservation board approved Miami Beach developer Russell Galbut’s request to stack two more floors to one of the buildings that make up the Gale South Beach hotel at 1690 Collins Avenue. The property would get an additional 12 rooms at the existing 87-key hotel. 

Ruger’s proposal requires approval by the preservation board because Riviera Plaza is a contributing building in the Miami Beach Museum Local Historic District. The neighborhood has a collection of low-rise buildings built between 1912 and World War II, featuring Art Deco, Streamline Moderne, Mediterranean Revival and Masonry Vernacular architecture styles. 

Riviera Plaza is also near the Bass Museum of Art, and luxury condo-hotels the W South Beach and the Setai Miami Beach

Ruger plans to retain at least 75 percent of Riviera Plaza’s facade, and at least 66 percent of the interior, the letter of intent states. Miami-based Shulman & Associates is Ruger’s architect.