The creators of the The Meridian Hotel in the exclusive neighborhood South of Fifth Miami Beach, Argentine developers of the chain Urbanica Hotels, announced their plans for three additional properties in Miami, whose opening is scheduled for 2020.
By MiamiDiario Newsroom
Urbanica The Hotels is creating its own hospitality district in the area of South Beach with three more hotels. To this we must add that among the open hotels they add more than 200 direct employees thinking of doubling them once the new establishments are open. Regarding the investments planned for the new openings, the sum exceeds 140 million.
Diego Colmenero and Charlie Porchetto They are two Argentines born in Buenos Aires and professionals graduated from the University of San Andrés. After the 2001 crisis in Argentina, they began to think about landing in Miami, a destination that has always been and continues to be well regarded by Argentines. To this was added their desire to do things in the United States, so they proceeded with the investigations to start with the hotel project that they had kept in their heads for a long time.
Urbanica's partners have as a hallmark their double condition of «hoteliers» and developers”. This is how Porchetto explains it "We put the construction component in all our projects, they all start from scratch or their origin is a building to which we do a major remodeling, it is not that we operate an existing hotel."
These entrepreneurs began their professional careers in the world of construction and in 2005 they took over the first project already built in Núñez, which was originally intended to be a residential building, to transform it into the hotel Urbanica Suites, of 30 rooms. Further on, and in the area of Bajo Belgrano, came the hotel Urbanica Liberator, with 70 more rooms.
“The cost of construction in the United States is high, but stable. We have the experience of building in Argentina, and with each new project one must start from scratch and estimate the values of each item, one by one. That is the difference between working with significant inflation or without it”, says Porchetto.
Stability, he says, makes it easier to project expansion and start new development. On the other hand, access to financing in the northern country allowed them to enter the market without having 100 percent of the capital.
Colmero assures that the net cost of materials is very similar to Argentina, but that there are other costs such as the salary of architects, designers and engineers, which is much higher, and especially the time it takes to start the project. "In the United States, from the time you buy a piece of land until construction begins, a year and a half passes to submit documentation and wait for permits," he explains.
Regarding the land, he calculates that, as in the most demanded areas of Buenos Aires, it represents 30 or 40 percent of the total value of the project.
And why Miami?
Colmenero comments that they chose this city “because of the historical predilection of Argentine tourists for that destination”, but adds that “finally their main clients are Americans or Europeans”.
In mid-2017 they opened their first hotel “Meridian” in South Beach, which required an investment of US$20 million. After the success of The Meridian, an impeccably reimagined historic 1930's Art Deco hotel at 418 Meridian Ave. that houses a 71-room property, they've just added to it.
Among the novelties presented by the spearhead hotel in Miami, they comment that a short time ago they inaugurated Regina's Grocery, an Italian store that offers a New York-focused menu and the first in the US outside of the Big Apple. A fancy speakeasy called Minibar.
Argentinian district in Miami Beach
The Kaskades Hotel at 300 17th Street opened in April 2019. Managed by Urbanica as an independent operation, but similar in design to The Meridian Hotel.
The renovation of the pre-war property included a new glass lobby, a modernized reception desk and the addition of Urbanica's contemporary cafe, The Food Marchand, on the ground floor of the hotel. Conveniently located, The Kaskades is within walking distance to the beach, Lincoln Road, the Bass Museum, and popular restaurants like Casa Tua.
The Euclid Hotel, located at 426 Euclid Avenue, its opening was made by the end of 2019. The hotel has 30 rooms and has a restaurant called Shore Bar & Grill, sister restaurant to his first outpost in Buenos Aires, located in The Suites Hotel in the Barrancas de Belgrano area and run by the famous Argentine chef Fernando Trocca and top mixologist Inés De Los Santos, in partnership with renowned restaurateur Martin Pittaluga.
The menu features simple but well-executed cuisine, showcasing seasonal ingredients and high-quality cut-style steaks cooked to perfection in a Josper oven. The Josper oven is the star of the restaurant and Chef Trocca has mastered the art of this cooking method to develop incredibly tasty dishes. The cocktail list will feature fresh and delicate mixes created by De Los Santos to complement the menu designed by Chef Trocca.
The fifth, at 803 Fifth Street, is scheduled to open in mid-2020 with 50 rooms, on-site parking, pool, beach service and a quaint restaurant, with a menu also designed by Chef Trocca.
“The Euclid Hotels. Meridian and Fifth will signify the positioning of Urbanica as a hotel and gastronomic district of the South Fifth with an authentic Argentine stamp,” said Porchetto.
The company's expansion plans in Miami do not stop there. Colmenero reports that Urbanica The Biscayne Hotel, located at 3200 Biscayne Boulevard in the emerging Edgewater area, is scheduled to open in late 2020.
The hotel will have 210 rooms, a commercial space on the ground floor with an area of approximately 470 m2 and a 650m2 roof terrace where the swimming pool, bar and entertainment space will be located. It will also have 150 parking spaces, a restaurant, rooftop pool, bar and beach service.
Forward-thinking hoteliers say they wanted to offer something new in this area “as we felt Edgewater lacked luxury hotels to complement its upscale community filled with high-rise condominiums and noteworthy restaurants. This neighborhood is quickly becoming a more vibrant part of town, filled with sophisticated families and young professionals. For our hotel guests, The Biscayne will be conveniently located just minutes from major highways and trendy neighborhoods, including the Miami Design District, Brickell, Downtown and Wynwood."
To end this stage of construction, it is announced for 2021 the opening of Urbanica Beach Hotel which will have 200 rooms, 150 parking spaces, a restaurant, a pool-bar and direct access to the beach and service there.
“We see Miami as the world's next great metropolis, and our goal is to enrich the lives of visitors and locals," said Colmenero, while Porchetto concluded by saying "We have been visiting Miami since our childhood and we are attracted by the city's multicultural energy, panoramic views and great atmosphere. . Our goal is to create warm, friendly and caring environments in Miami's trendiest neighborhoods where our guests immediately feel at home."
Porchetto and Colmenero are young and successful entrepreneurs who are always looking for new and innovative opportunities. Although its properties offer modern and luxurious amenities, room rates are reasonable and attract unpretentious and loyal customers.
“We are consolidating ourselves as a brand in the market and strengthening ourselves year after year” finish by saying the successful Argentines in Miami who have plans to continue taking the Urbanica lifestyle to other important cities such as Orlando, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, without stopping dreaming of his projects with Spain and Italy in mind.
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