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Ian Schrager Joins Forces with Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten
for New Edition Hotel in Miami

By Hannah Sampson, The Miami HeraldMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Feb. 23, 2013--Two of the best-known names in their respective fields -- hotelier Ian Schrager and chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten -- have teamed up for the Edition Hotel in Miami Beach, they told The Miami Herald Friday.

The partnership had not previously been officially announced, but the two were set to host a cocktail party Friday night at the site of the old Seville Beach hotel, 2901 Collins Ave.

On Friday at the sales pavilion for the Residences at the Miami Beach Edition, the duo chatted nonstop as they examined an elaborate model of the hotel and grounds.

"We just have a good time together," Vongerichten said. "He's excited, I'm excited."

Vongerichten pointed out a lower-level area on the model building that he described as a grab-and-go food court with a deli, bakery, hot kitchen and raw bar. Schrager referred to it as an "updated Wolfie's," referring to the deli eight blocks south on Collins Avenue that closed in 2002.

"It's not just for the people at the hotel, it's for everybody," said Schrager, whose launch of the Delano in 1995 helped bring new life to South Beach.

Plans at the Edition also call for a beach eatery and upscale-but-modern restaurant that Vongerichten said would be "chic and glamorous" and focused on local ingredients. He referred to that restaurant as the Matador Room, a nod to the hotel's previous life.

Vongerichten said Schrager approached him about the project nearly six months ago; they have worked together since he opened the Pump Room restaurant at Schrager's Public Chicago in late 2011.

Vongerichten is also behind the lauded J&G Grill at the St. Regis Bal Harbour, which opened in January 2012, but the Edition will be his first foray into Miami Beach.

"You always have to wait for the right project," Vongerichten said.

A partnership between Schrager and Marriott International, the Edition brand includes one hotel in Istanbul. A site in London is set to debut in August, followed by Miami Beach in early 2014, possibly late in the first quarter. Other locations in New York and Bangkok are scheduled to come online in 2015.

Already years in the making, the Miami Beach project has been closely watched since Marriott bought the property in July 2010. Now, construction at the massive site is well underway, with cranes towering over the gutted existing buildings and a new tower. The finished product will include a hotel with about 250 rooms as well as 26 residences, nearly half of which are already sold. The property also features an ice skating rink, a bowling alley and historic outdoor details including a sundial and diving board.

"It's a little bit like a bamboo shoot that sits there for 100 years, then all of a sudden it shoots up 50 feet in weeks," Schrager said. "It's coming to life."


(c)2013 The Miami Herald

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