Award Criteria: Hilton Hotels Corporation recognized Bernard Wolfson with the 2008 Hampton Inn "Deal of the Year" award for his perseverance and success in moving forward with a 221-room Hampton Inn & Suites in a higher-barrier-to-entry market of the Brickell Financial District of downtown Miami. This project was selected for recognition from among the 238 Hampton Inn franchises issued in 2008.
Hotel Specifications: 15-story, 221-guest room Hampton Inn & Suites: lobby, breakfast area, pool, exercise room, and business center are on 6th floor above 210 parking spaces. The property is registered with the US Green Building Council for LEED certification. The structure will have 3,500 sq. ft. of meeting space at lobby level and 10,000 sq. ft. for third-party retail space at ground level.
Property Address: 50 S.W. 12 Street, in Miami's Brickell Financial District, half a block from the Metrorail and Metromover system.
Owner/Developer: Bernard Wolfson is President of Hospitality Operations, Inc., which was incorporated in Florida in 1959. The firm owns four other Hampton Inns in Broward and Miami-Dade counties. The properties are in Coconut Grove (opened 1995), Pembroke Pines (opened 1998), Miami Airport (opened 2000) and downtown Ft. Lauderdale (opened 2002).
Architect: Israel Bigelman, Miami Beach
Estimated development cost: $45 million
Timetable: Begin construction in 2009, with opening projected for late 2011.
Site history: Land purchased by Wolfson for $6.06 million in December 2007. In 2001 the prior owner had planned a 29-story, 277-unit condominium for the site. The City of Miami Commission approved the land use plan for the Hampton Inn & Suites project in October 2008. The environmentally-sustainable hotel building is half size of the project approved for the same site in 2001.
Business Strategy: The project fills a need for mid-priced hotel accommodations in the Brickell area financial district and, via the Metrorail system, all of downtown Miami.
Hotel Management: Tennessee-based Hospitality America, Inc. will manage the new property, as it does the four other Hampton Inns owned by Hospitality Operations, Inc.
Job stimulus impact: Once open, the hotel will employ a staff of 100.