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MCR Plans To Add 2 Towers To Hilton Near Miami International Airport

MCR Hotels is exploring a plan to partially redevelop the Hilton Miami Airport Blue Lagoon that would add 400 hotel rooms just south of the ninth-busiest airport in the United States. 

MCR bought the Hilton Miami Airport Blue Lagoon for $118M in February 2023.

The New York-based hotel operator filed a pre-application with Miami-Dade County to review preliminary plans that would add a pair of eight-story buildings flanking either side of the existing 508-room hotel. The two new buildings would rise on what’s currently a surface parking lot and single-story covered garage, which would be demolished and replaced. 

MCR filed paperwork April 3 asking the county for a meeting to review the plans, and online records indicate it will meet with county officials on April 17 to discuss the proposal. 

MCR, which operates more than 150 hotels in 37 states, paid $118M last February to acquire the Hilton Miami Airport Blue Lagoon at 5101 Waterford District Drive. The 14-story hotel includes 32K SF of meeting space and was built on 20.6 acres in 1983, according to property records. 

Each of the two proposed standalone hotel buildings would also have an attached four-story parking garage with 140 spaces each, according to a letter of intent submitted on behalf of the developer by David Coviello, a land use attorney at Schutts & Bowen. A third five-story garage with 700 spaces would be built in the center of the property. 

The new proposed buildings are described in the letter of intent as “select service” hotels that would have no meeting rooms or restaurant space. 

MCR declined to comment on the proposal. Hilton and Coviello didn’t respond to Bisnow’s request for comment. 

Two new buildings would bring the room count to 908 at the Hilton Miami Airport Blue Lagoon.

The Hilton Miami Airport Blue Lagoon is surrounded on three sides by water on the far eastern edge of a peninsula that hosts the 250-acre Waterford Business District office park, which includes several other hotels, including two with Hilton branding.

A variety of hotels dot the area surrounding the airport, including the 135-room Hyatt Place Miami Airport-East at 3549 Le Jeune Road, which MCR purchased in December 2022 for $16.6M two months before it purchased the Blue Lagoon property.

Miami International Airport served 52 million travelers in 2023 but has only one on-site hotel, a 259-room property that shares the airport’s name and was built over 60 years ago. 

The Miami-Dade County Commission gave Stephen RossRelated Cos. and Jeffrey Soffer’s Fontainebleau Development the green light last July to build a 451-room hotel with Westin branding on the airport property. 

The commission’s decision followed a three-year proposal process that was marred by complaints of favoritism from the second-place bidder, Parmco Airport Hospitality. 

Miami’s hotel market performance hasn’t been immune to the retreat from pandemic-era highs that the U.S. market has experienced, with revenue per available room falling 8% on the year through November 2023, according to Matthews Real Estate Investment Services. The average daily rate was down 6% through the same period.

There’s a robust development pipeline spanning 13 properties and 2,200 rooms, although new construction is concentrated in the luxury space. Demand is forecasted to rise by 3% through 2024, but the delivery of new supply is projected to keep RevPAR growth at around 1% for the year, according to Matthews.