South Florida's record-setting tourism industry has enticed another specialty hotel brand into the market.
Groundbreaking is expected near Miami International Airport in the third quarter of 2016 of the $32 million 189-room EVEN Hotel Miami, a holistic lifestyle brand from Atlanta-based hotel company InterContinental Hotels Group. The Miami location will be the brand's first in the southeastern U.S.
Established in 2012, three EVEN hotels now operate in the U.S. — in New York, Maryland and Connecticut. Five more are in development, including the Miami site.
EVEN hotels are seeking to attract wellness-minded travelers, and they incorporate elements into their décor and offerings that are designed to help travelers maintain healthy lifestyles away from home. The hotels' key goals are to help guests "Eat Well, Rest Easy, Keep Active and Accomplish More," according to EVEN.
As part of that wellness focus, guest rooms at EVEN hotels are outfitted with training equipment, including a foam roller, yoga mat, yoga block, core exercise ball and a mounted fitness wall with resistance bands. In addition, fitness centers are located in EVEN hotel lobbies.
Breakfast and dinner offerings in the Miami EVEN hotel will include organic, vegetarian, low-fat and portion-controlled meals.
"I wanted to offer something different in the market," said Noel Epelboim, CEO and president of Epelboim Development Group, which is developing the project.
Epelboim said he was immediately attracted to EVEN's wellness concept and saw it as a great fit for the Palmer Lake section of the Miami airport, home to companies from the aerospace, finance, commerce, entertainment and international trade sectors.
About $12 million of the funds to develop the EVEN Miami hotel is coming from 24 foreign investors through the EB-5 program, Epelboim said. That program allows foreigners to live in the U.S. in exchange for investing at least $500,000 in U.S.-based projects in select areas that would create at least 10 jobs.
At least 240 permanent jobs are expected to be created by the EVEN Miami hotel, and possibly as many as 290, Epelboim noted.
The hotel's architect is DLW Architects, based in Dunedin, and its general contractor is Civic Construction, headquartered in Miami..
DLW also designed the new 158-room Lexington Inn & Suites that's expected to debut in Dania Beach sometime between 2017 and 2018.
Trust Hospitality of Coral Gables will operate and manage the EVEN Miami hotel, which is expected to open by the end of 2017, Epelboim said.
"We're very interested in going to Broward County, that's a natural growth [path] for us and we're looking for sites as we speak."
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