Miami International Airport Set To Welcome New Hotel As Developers Compete For Contract

The Westin hotel proposal designed by Arquitectonica. Credit: FDR Miami Hotel LLC.

A new era may be dawning for Miami International Airport as two developers are vying to build a new hotel connected to the bustling transportation hub. After more than six decades without competition, the Miami International Airport Hotel, which links to Terminal E, may soon have a companion. FDR Miami Hotel LLC and Parmco Airport Hospitality LLC are currently in the running, awaiting a decision on who will secure the 50-year lease from the county to construct a new hotel adjacent to the airport.

The selected developer will be responsible for designing, building, financing, operating, and maintaining the new hotel, as outlined in memos from Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. FDR Miami Hotel LLC has proposed a total budget of approximately $265 million, while Parmco Airport Hospitality LLC’s budget is around $241.7 million. Both proposals have their unique strengths and merits.

The Hilton hotel proposal designed by Zyscovich Architects. Credit: Parmco Airport Hospitality LLC.

According to the Miami Herald, two prominent developers have put forth competing proposals for a new hotel connected to Miami International Airport. FDR Miami Hotel LLC, a joint venture between Fontainebleau Development LLC, led by Jeffrey Soffer, and The Related Companies, headed by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, has presented a plan for a 451-room Westin hotel designed by Arquitectonica. This upscale development would offer a range of amenities, including meeting spaces, restaurants, and a pool, all carrying the esteemed Westin brand. In contrast, Parmco Airport Hospitality LLC, a Miami-based development firm specifically created for this project and led by developers Paul Lambert and Darryl Parmenter, has proposed constructing a Hilton hotel with the renowned design expertise of Zyscovich Architects.

According to the memos, FDR Miami Hotel LLC’s proposal is projected to generate approximately $240 million in revenue for the county over the 50-year lease term. The county would lease the land to the selected developer and receive over $20 million in rent. The mayor’s office highlighted the financial aspects of FDR Miami Hotel LLC’s proposal, including its higher rent payments, emphasizing the project’s potential benefits to the community.

The new hotel complex, situated on a 1.8-acre lot adjacent to the Dolphin parking garage on the northeast side of the airport, would be connected to Terminal D via a pedestrian bridge. This prime location aims to offer convenience and accessibility for travelers. While the new hotel would not replace the existing Miami International Airport Hotel, it seeks to provide an enhanced lodging experience for visitors and further enrich the airport’s offerings.

However, the journey towards selecting the winning proposal has been lengthy. Last December, Mayor Levine Cava rejected all initial proposals, calling for a restart of the process focusing on workers, local hiring, environmental considerations, and community benefits. Eventually, FDR Miami Hotel LLC’s proposal gained favor, and on June 14, both FDR and Parmco presented their plans to the county commission’s Aviation and Economic Development Committee. The final decision is expected during a commission meeting scheduled for July 18.

The Miami International Airport has long needed additional hotel accommodations to cater to travelers’ needs, from those with extended layovers to business professionals requiring conference facilities. The existing Miami International Airport Hotel, over 60 years old, has been the only hotel connected to the airport. With the potential addition of a new hotel, Miami’s airport would further cement its status as a vibrant and thriving transportation hub.

The hotel project’s construction timeline remains uncertain, and it is subject to funding and approvals from city planners. Building an integrated hotel within an airport presents unique challenges, including stringent security and safety requirements. However, the selected developer will be able to shape Miami’s new airport hotel, offering modern amenities, comfortable accommodations, and exceptional service to visitors worldwide.

Introducing a new hotel at the Miami International Airport holds immense significance for the hospitality landscape and the airport’s economic growth. This project represents a pivotal step toward meeting the demand for high-quality lodging options and enhancing the overall travel experience for passengers flying in and out of Miami.

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