In an effort to boost business conference bookings at Fontainebleau Miami Beach, Jeffrey Soffer’s firm has begun construction on a new five-story event center on a former surface parking lot adjacent to his iconic oceanfront resort.
The 50,000-square-foot building at 4360 and 4370 Collins Avenue will connect to the historic hotel’s Tresor Tower via a new sky bridge, and have an underground garage that will include employee parking, Fontainebleau Development President Bret Mufson said via email.
The growing number of financial services firms, hedge funds and tech companies moving or expanding to the Miami area offers an opportunity for Fontainebleau Miami Beach to ramp up the resort’s business conference offerings and compete with other major resorts in South Florida that attract corporate events, Mufson said.
“As we witnessed the influx of people and companies moving to Miami over the last three years, there was a clear opportunity to build on the long legacy of Fontainebleau Miami Beach,” Mufson wrote.
The event center will have an 18,000-square-foot grand ballroom and a 9,000-square-foot junior ballroom that can be subdivided into smaller spaces so Fontainebleau Miami Beach can accommodate business groups and conferences of varying sizes, Mufson said.
Incorporating elements of the Morris Lapidus-designed Fontainebleau Miami Beach, the center will feature floor-to-ceiling windows with water views and state-of-the art digital amenities, Mufson said. The building will also have a rooftop area for pre-meeting events. The project’s expected completion is the first quarter of 2025.
Fontainebleau Development, led by chairman and CEO Soffer, first proposed the event center and sky bridge two years ago. According to a letter of intent filed with the city, Fontainebleau Miami Beach’s current ballrooms and meeting spaces are limited and “lags behind most of its direct competitors.” As a result, the resort has turned down “significant ballroom and conference business away from Miami Beach over the years.”
The Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board approved the project last year. A Fontainebleau affiliate paid $13 million for the parking lot in 2005, records show.
Soffer is in a supercharged development mode. Fontainebleau recently paid $10.1 million for a 1-acre waterfront redevelopment site in North Miami that is currently home to a small marina.
Last month, the firm submitted plans to demolish an eight-story oceanfront condominium in Tequesta and replace it with a 10-story building with 34 luxury condos. Fontainebleau paid roughly $100 million to buy out all 40 owners at the Regency Condominium.