Driftwood Capital Breaks Ground on Oceanfront Element by Westin Hotel in Melbourne, FL

The first Marriott hotel in Melbourne Beach will feature 130 guestrooms with upscale amenities catering to leisure and business travelers visiting Florida’s popular “Space Coast” region

Driftwood Capital (Driftwood), a vertically integrated commercial real estate firm providing superior risk-adjusted returns in hospitality, is pleased to announce it has broken ground on the Element by Westin®, a new 130-key extended-stay hotel located on prime oceanfront property in Melbourne, Fla., one of the beach towns along Florida’s popular “Space Coast.” The property is being built on the 2.56-acre site of a former parking lot located at 2605 N. Highway A1A in Melbourne, Fla., adjacent to The Crowne Plaza Melbourne, another property owned and operated by Driftwood Capital. It is the first Marriott-branded hotel in Melbourne Beach.

An official groundbreaking ceremony was held on Wednesday at 2 p.m. on the site, with complimentary food and beverage provided by the Crowne Plaza hotel. Speakers included Driftwood CEO Carlos Rodriguez Sr., Brevard County Commissioner Curt Smith, City of Melbourne Council Member Mark LaRusso, Victor Garcia, Senior Design Manager, Global Design Americas at Marriott International, and Juan Mendiola, Senior Vice President of Ocean Bank, which provided construction financing for the hotel.

Construction and operation of the hotel will create approximately 200 new jobs.

In Brevard County, Driftwood also owns the Hilton Cocoa Beach and the International Palms Resort and Conference Center in Cocoa Beach, which will soon be replaced with a new, 4.5-star, $388 million Westin resort and convention center.

“After many years of planning, it’s always exciting to get the shovels in the ground,” said Carlos Rodriguez, Sr., CEO of Driftwood Capital.  “Once completed, the hotel will offer business travelers, large families, and tourists alike a contemporary, wellness-focused extended-stay option right on the beach, and within minutes of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center as well as many private space companies.  We’d like to thank numerous individuals and partners involved in this exciting new development for all their hard work leading up to this momentous groundbreaking.”

Added Mayor Paul Alfrey, City of Melbourne, “I want to thank Driftwood Capital and their team for investing in our community and for building a quality project that our citizens and visitors will enjoy.”

When complete in 2024, the six-story, 105,000-square-foot extended-stay hotel—which will be known as Element Melbourne Beach—will boast 130 spacious guestrooms featuring a contemporary design paired with modern amenities and a focus on wellness.  Guestrooms at the property will feature in-room kitchens with full-size refrigerators, electric two-burner cooktops, microwaves, dishwashers and sinks; and spa-inspired bathrooms with refreshing rain showers and eco-friendly product dispensers.

Wellness-focused amenities at Element Melbourne Beach will include an all-natural saline swimming pool; a spacious 24/7 Motion Fitness Center; vehicle charging stations; Element bicycles designed by Priority Bicycles for guest to explore the area; and expansive pool deck over looking the Atlantic with locally curated food and beverage offerings. The property will also boast 24/7 on-site laundry and approximately 175 parking spaces.

The project will target a Green Key Certification for sustainable design, construction and operation.

The Element Melbourne will be the eighth Element hotel in Florida; the brand has more than 75 locations nationwide.  Driftwood Development will manage the project. Bermello, Ajamil & Partners Inc. is the project’s architect of record and Certified General Contractors is the builder. Beyer Brown is the procurement agent, Ingenuity Engineers will design mechanical, electrical and plumbing, and Kimley Horn is the civil designer. Driftwood Hospitality Management will operate the property.

Driftwood first acquired the site in 2018 as part of its purchase of the adjacent eight-story, 270-room Crowne Plaza Melbourne-Oceanfront hotel from InterContinental Hotels Group.  Driftwood Capital separated the 2.6-acre parcel from the Crowne Plaza site following the purchase of the property in 2018.  The site plan for the new hotel was approved unanimously in October 2021 by the Melbourne Planning and Zoning Board; plans were approved by the Melbourne City Council in November 2021.

GROUNDBREAKING PHOTO CAPTION: Driftwood Capital broke ground on the Element Melbourne hotel, a new extended stay hotel development to be completed in 2024.  Pictured Left to Right: Melbourne Council Member Yvonne Minus, Brevard County Commissioner Curt Smith, Melbourne Council Member Mark LaRusso, Driftwood Capital CEO Carlos Rodriguez Sr., Ocean Bank Senior Vice President Juan Mendiola, Marriott International Senior Design Director Victor Garcia. Photographer Credit: Oliver Carmona.

About Driftwood Capital

Driftwood Capital is a vertically integrated commercial real estate investment, development, and lending platform specializing in hospitality. The principals of Driftwood Capital boast a 30+ year track record transacting on more than $5 billion in hospitality assets through various affiliated management and ownership entities. In 2015, the principals of Driftwood Capital launched a unique syndication model for accredited investors to access otherwise exclusive institutional-quality hotels. Through this innovative syndication model, Driftwood Capital successfully turned $50 million of initial investment into more than $1 billion in assets across 18 hotels and 5 development deals with more than 5,100 rooms in 12 states. All Driftwood Capital funds benefit from the principals’ affiliation with Driftwood Hospitality Management, which currently manages over 70 full and limited service hotels with more than 13,000 rooms across 22 states and is regarded as a long-standing industry leader and best-in-class operator.

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