Redevelopment in the North Beach Village area of Fort Lauderdale is giving birth to more places for tourists to stay and play.
After about a year of renovations, the North Beach Hotel has opened at 551 Breakers Ave., a few blocks from Fort Lauderdale's beachfront corridor.
The 15 room boutique hotel, operated by North Beach Village Resort, offers 13 rooms in a mix of deluxe studios and one bedroom units. It also has two penthouses with full kitchens. One penthouse has two bedrooms and another is designed as a multipurpose loft with its own balcony terrace and entertainment area.
"It's been doing very well," Christine Sposa, vice president of operations at North Beach Village Hotel Properties, which runs the hotel, said during a tour Tuesday.
Average room rates start at $150 to $160 per night for the studios and one bedrooms, while nightly prices for the penthouses begin at $400 to $500, she said.
North Beach Hotel, the company's flagship property, joins its collection of about 15 properties in the area off Fort Lauderdale beach known as North Beach Village. They offer a range of lodgings for families and singles as well as LGBT travelers and include Aqua on Viramar Street, Beach Gardens on Orton Avenue, Royal Palms on Breakers Avenue and Cocobelle Resort and Tranquilo on Vistamar Street.
"We had a great Tortuga Music Festival weekend. We were incredibly booked," Sposa said of the high occupancy all of its properties experienced. "It was a record weekend with 465 rooms booked."
Adding to North Beach Hotel's appeal is a 138 seat restaurant and bar called Village Café, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily and offers a menu of "multicultural fusion," Sposa said.
The restaurant offers a theme night each month as part of its efforts to attract more locals, and live music from 7:30 p.m. every Friday and Saturday. A recent Colombia night, featuring a Colombian entrée and a female singer and dancer, was a hit.
The restaurant is offering lunch specials to attract more locals, said Orlando Alvarez, the hotel company's food and beverage director.
North Beach Village Hotel Properties is an outfit led by Swedish developer Par Sanda, who in recent years has spearheaded the redevelopment and revamp of several 1950s era motels and inns in the area nestled between the W Fort Lauderdale and the Bonnet House on the barrier island south of Sunrise Boulevard. Sanda's investment group has bought more than 35 buildings and lots in the area and invested more than $80 million remodeling and redeveloping them into the European-style village that's taking shape.
And more projects are in the pipeline.
The recently acquired Vistamar Villa will close at the end of the month and undergo renovations to reopen as a 15 room addition to the Tranquilo hotel, Sposa said.
Construction is continuing on the 100 room Flow Hotel at Bayshore Drive and Birch Road, which is expected to be done this year. The project will mark the transformation of the former Martindale, Sandy Shores and Seaside motels in the area.
"The village is coming together," said Sposa, noting that other hotel and residential developers share Sanda's redevelopment vision for the once blighted area.
"It's nice to see the big guys joining us," said Sposa, referring to projects like the Ocean Resort Residences managed by Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Four Seasons Hotel & Private Residences and Gale Boutique Hotel & Residences that are sprouting up in the area along Fort Lauderdale beach
By Arlene Satchell