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In the conversion club

Ian Schrager's hip Miami Beach building joins hotel-condo trend.

By Robyn A. Friedman
Special Correspondent
Posted February 26 2005

Hip hotelier Ian Schrager, who won international acclaim in the late 1970s for co-founding the legendary Studio 54 in New York City, Friday announced plans to convert The Shore Club in Miami Beach, to a hotel-condominium.

Prices for the 240 units will range from the $400,000s to $20 million, some of the highest prices ever asked for hotel-condominium units in South Florida.

"I am very passionate about the hotel-condominium concept," said Schrager. "I like the idea of blurring the distinction between hotels and residential, taking the best from each. There's something sexy in giving people the opportunity to own within one of these lifestyle hotels."

Sales of units will begin in March. There will be no usage restrictions, so owners can use the units as much as they want, Schrager said. Owners also have the option to place their units into the hotel's rental program.

The hotel is at 1901 Collins Ave. in Miami Beach. Unit owners will have access to all hotel services, including the restaurants, bars, fitness center, personal trainers, meeting rooms, business center, beach concession services, room service, catering and even pet-walking and -sitting services. They will also receive perks at the neighboring Delano Hotel, which is owned by New York-based Morgans Hotel Group LLC, Schrager's firm, and VIP treatment at all hotels, bars and restaurants in the Morgans Hotel chain.

Amenities at The Shore Club include Nobu, a cutting-edge Japanese restaurant owned by Nobu Matsuhisaand Robert DeNiro, as well as Ago, a Tuscan restaurant by Agostino Sciandri. The hotel is also home to the popular Skybar.

"We're selling a lifestyle and that's what distinguishes us from everybody else," Schrager said. "It's really an opportunity for people to have a second home on the beach and be a part of the kind of lifestyle that I have spent the last 20 years cultivating."

Schrager is pouring more than $20 million into the hotel to renovate and reconfigure the rooms, each of which will contain a kitchen. He is developing the project under the name Philips South Beach LLC. Occupancy is expected in the fall of 2006.

The units at The Shore Club will include one and two bedrooms as well as penthouses, one of which is more than 2,400 square feet, with three stories, a 3,000-square-foot terrace, a private lap pool and 360-degree views.

Schrager expects sales to be brisk. He has been quietly accumulating names on a waiting list and plans to give "our most loyal customers and friends" dibs on the units. He's already fielded several inquiries about the $20 million penthouse unit.

At least one industry expert expects the project to do well. "The biggest draw in the market right now when it comes to condos and condo-hotels is branding," said Mark Zilbert, a real estate agent with Esslinger-Wooten-Maxwell Inc. in Miami Beach. "The Shore Club will do well because it's a highly branded hotel with a well-known name. People will buy there just to say they live there, and they'll pay top dollar."



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