|By Douglas Hanks, The Miami
HeraldMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Jan. 30, 2008 - --Ian Schrager is heading south of Fifth.
The hotelier behind the Delano's rise to dominance of South Beach will lend his imprimatur to a chain hotel in the hip district's southern reaches: the South Beach Marriott on the 100 block of Ocean Drive.
Marriott is partnering with Schrager to create a new boutique brand, Edition, and the 236-room South Beach hotel will be one of the first conversions to the new chain.
The new South Beach Edition is expected to debut in 2010, said Marriott spokesman John Wolf.
'MIAMI BEACH CHARM'
The Edition will sit about 16 blocks south of the Delano in the more remote and tranquil section of South Beach. "I actually like south of Fifth Street because it has some of that old Miami Beach charm," Schrager said. "The streets are a little bit narrower down there. I like the scale very much."
Key International, the Ardid family's real estate company, owns the hotel and will be investing significant dollars into a renovation of the property before the Edition debut, said Marriott CFO Arne Sorenson.
Sorenson said Marriott hopes to open at least 100 Editions worldwide.
Schrager relaunched the Delano in 1995, and the hotel's sleek, white-on-white look quickly became the standard for stylish South Beach hotels.
Schrager left the Delano's parent company, Morgans Hotel Group, in 2005 to pursue solo ventures. That year, he and New York developer Aby Rosen joined to purchase the Riande hotel portfolio, including a 251-room South Beach hotel blocks from the Delano's location at 1685 Collins Ave.
MOVING ON UP
Schrager said the Edition hotel will target a more affluent vacationer than the former Riande will, saying the Marriott property will fall between the four- and five-star categories.
He said he would eventually like to have more Miami Beach properties so that he could have a hotel "at every price point -- one star, two stars, three stars, four stars, five stars."
With Marriott's South Beach flag becoming an Edition, Sorenson said the lodging giant would be looking for a new Marriott in the coveted market.
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