Big names vie to build Miami International Airport’s first hotel in 60 years

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Written by Jesse Scheckner on March 9, 2021

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Three companies are on a shortlist to build the first new hotel at Miami International Airport (MIA) in more than six decades, and they carry names known to the Miami-Dade development community.

Companies were the only ones to respond to a request for an offer issued by the county in October, according to Rita Silva, director of the purchasing division for internal services at Miami-Dade. Each qualified for the project in the first of two procurement phases, she said.

“The county is working on the issuance of the phase 2 supply [now]She told Miami Today via email.

All three companies have local ties. They understand:

â–  FDR Miami Hotel LLC, whose filing with the Florida Division of Corporations lists the New York address of global real estate developer The Related Companies, founded and run by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross.

â–  Mainsail Development International LLC, a subsidiary of Tampa-based hotel builder and operator, Mainsail Lodging and Development, whose Miami-based founder and president Joe Collier previously worked for Marriott.

â–  Parmco Airport Hospitality LLC, a company owned by investor-developer Darryl Parmenter and real estate economic advisor Paul Lambert which holds a majority stake in hotel design as part of a $ 512 million MIA development plan now defunct called Airport City.

The Miami-Dade Commission in May last year asked the administration of former mayor Carlos Giménez to launch what was to be a three-month request for tenders, followed by a 30-day review to be concluded. in September and a contract award scheduled for November.

Former commissioner Esteban “Steve” Bovo led talks about building two new hotels as part of MIA’s $ 15 billion overhaul, approved by the board in 2019.

“The class of ’20 would love to see something done,” he said at the time.

Mr Bovo initially backed a resolution that would have told staff to start exclusive talks with Parmco, whose manager, Mr Lambert, was part of the 2008 team that worked on the Airport hotel room. City, which would have risen east of the airport Dolphin. Garage, where the new hotel should go now.

Using these earlier designs, Bovo argued earlier, could help speed up development and save money. But after confirming that Parmco’s agreement rights with the county had not been competitively secured, he amended his article to ask for a new RFP that Parmco could still apply to.

While Commissioners Jose “Pepe” Diaz, Sally Heyman, Rebeca Sosa and Javier Souto supported Mr Bovo’s article, as did former Commissioners Audrey Edmonson and Dennis Moss, others like Eileen Higgins cautioned against hasty action.

The directive was nevertheless passed 12-0 on May 19, 2020 – Joe Martinez was absent – and included the requirement that all proposals include a convention center, meeting room and trade show space.

This all makes perfect sense in a pre-Covid world, where hospitality and business relationships were predictable and reliable, Giménez said. But during and after the pandemic, as companies compare the prices of airfare to a Zoom subscription, a return to old practices is unlikely, he said.

“There is going to be a decrease in business travel, take note of my words, as companies realize that it is much cheaper to do. [business remotely] than sending someone to Miami, ”he said. “I don’t know what a hotel should be like in a post-Covid-19 world. “


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