AC Hotel in mid-Miami Beach opens Saturday

AC Hotel at 2912 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach
AC Hotel at 2912 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach

The AC Hotel by Marriott – Miami Beach, developed by Robert Finvarb Companies, will open on Saturday, marking the development firm’s second property to launch this week, amid a market-wide surge in new openings.

The newly constructed AC Hotel, at 2912 Collins Avenue, across from the Miami Beach Edition, has 150 rooms in seven stories, with an eighth-floor, rooftop pool with panoramic views.

“The hotel is the first ground-up of its kind in the U.S.,” Robert Finvarb, president of Robert Finvarb Companies, told The Real Deal. “AC is a brand of Marriott that they acquired from a development company in Spain, and there are 80 in Europe — in Spain, Italy and France. It’s a lifestyle, millennial brand, which is the market that everyone seems to be targeting these days. It’s a brand that is focused on satiating the desires of today’s traveler, whether business or leisure.”

Guest rooms feature floor-to-ceiling windows, and the third-story amenity deck will have outdoor games, including Bocce ball, ping pong and chess. And in keeping with the property’s youthful vibe, the hotel will have a tapas-driven AC Lounge with a mixologist who will also serve as a “culturalist,” or conduit to the city for guests, Finvarb said.

“If they want to know where the locals go for a great Latin dinner, where there’s a great local bakery, or they want to get insight into the art walks in Wynwood, the point of connection is the bartender,” he said.

Miami Beach is seeing a surge of new hotels, including the recently opened Hyatt Centric South Beach Miami,  1 Hotel & Homes South Beach, which opened in late March, and the Aloft South Beach is now planning to open June 11, developer Jason Halpern told TRD. In Miami’s Brickell area, Homewood Suites will open in July, and in Broward, the Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach is scheduled to open in September.

Scott Berman, principal and industry leader of hospitality and leisure for PwC in Miami, sees Miami Beach as a laboratory for new properties, as they try to appeal to millennials. So far, new launches have been successful, amid a “race to establish positioning and identity,” he said.

“We’re in a very robust economy, industry fundamentals are good, and what we are beginning to see on the Beach, as rates rise, some of these new openings offer options for a more price-sensitive traveler,” he told TRD. “But it’s still relatively expensive compared to other places.”

New hotels “are playing off the tailwinds” of existing properties that are having a great year, Berman added.

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Data from STR shows that for the week ending May 30, the Miami market had 71.6 percent occupancy, a 0.5 percent increase year-over-year. The average daily rate was up 4.3 percent to $167.36, and revenue per available room was up 4.9 percent to $119.77.

The AC’s developers broke ground in September 2013, creating a subterranean parking lot 20 feet under sea level, with more than 300 spaces. The parking lot has been used by the Edition, which is also affiliated with Marriott, since October.

robert finvarb feat“We actually have, as opposed to most of the hotels being built, more than enough parking to satisfy the needs of our guests,” Finvarb told TRD. “And that’s really a valuable asset that we are able to offer that many others don’t.”

Earlier this week, Finvarb’s company and its partner David Martins opened the Hyatt Centric South Beach Miami.

“The Hyatt and AC have a tremendous international appeal, and I see that being a great launching point for us as we open in the summer,” Finvarb said, “because that is where business is coming from, and the proverbial millennial traveler domestically also.”

The 105-room Hyatt Centric at 1600 Collins Avenue represents the first Hyatt Centric-branded hotel in Miami Beach, and the second worldwide, after Chicago.

At each of the AC and the Hyatt Centric, summer rates will start in the $300s.

Both hotels, Berman said, are in excellent locations, “in the heart of the emerging part of the Beach,” and “that is the first rule of hotel development.” The summer will prove to be a good test, he said.

“We’re really excited to open the hotels,” Finvarb said. “We feel they will fill a need that is not adequately satisfied in the market— that tier just below the Edition, Faena — with young, vibrant millennials focused at a price that is more affordable.”