Starwood Shines on in South Florida

Starwood Hotels & Resorts is committed to providing more access to hotels in places that need them.

By Keith Loria, Contributing Editor

Starwood Hotels & Resorts is developing a 323-room dual-branded hotel in Fort Lauderdale, under its recently launched Tribute Portfolio and eco-wise Element brands.

The dual-branded property will be managed by the Wurzak Hotel Group.

“We are committed to providing more access to great hotels in great places, and we know that The Wurzak Hotel Group will create an exceptional property with compelling design and unique offerings for our guests and SPG members,” Alison Reid, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide’s senior vice president of North America Development, said in a prepared statement. “We have a strong and growing presence in South Florida and look forward to bringing both our Tribute Portfolio and Element brands to the Fort Lauderdale market.”

The planned 24-story project will consist of a 209-key Tribute Portfolio hotel and 114-room Element hotel with shared facilities, including a sky lobby, expanded fitness center, and an indoor/outdoor pool deck featuring cabanas, tropical landscaping and sweeping ocean views. It will also offer the city’s only rooftop bar.

The development will also include a three-meal restaurant accessible through the lobby, 12,000 square feet of ground-floor retail offerings with a separate street-level entrance and a 206-space parking deck.

According to research from STR, Inc., South Florida’s hotel occupancy rate in June rose to 73.8 percent, up from 71.9 percent the same time last year, and hotel business is expected to pick up even more in the year ahead as the hospitality industry continues to increase.

The hotels will be located in Fort Lauderdale’s downtown market, in the middle of the expanding Flagler Village district and the Fort Lauderdale CBD, close by the famed Las Olas Boulevard shopping district, and 2.5 miles from the picturesque Fort Lauderdale Beach. Nearby attractions include The Galleria Mall, The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention Center, Port Everglades Cruise Terminal, Sawgrass Mills shopping center, NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale and Broward Center for the Performing Arts.

“We are thrilled to be developing this fantastic hotel and retail project at a premier location in downtown Fort Lauderdale—a rapidly expanding area, ripe for new development,” Jake Wurzak, Wurzak Hotel Group’s principal, said in a company statement. “We take a hands-on entrepreneurial approach in the way we develop and operate our hotels and look forward to incorporating our unique design driven vision into this project which will be unlike anything in the market.”

Construction on the project will begin this fall, with an opening scheduled for spring 2017.