This New Miami Hotel Residence, Connected To A Medical Center, Is Poised For A Pandemic
Posted On: July 31, 2020
By: Forbes

The developers of a new mixed-use tower in Miami, set to open in 2024, weren’t anticipating a global pandemic when they came up with the idea for their latest project — a medical center attached to a luxury hotel-condo. However, the coronavirus, which has hit Florida particularly hard, has spurred some changes in the complex and attracted interest.

Legacy Hotel and Residences, which launched sales at the end of last year for its 274 “branded vacation residences” above the 256-room hotel, and is set to break ground on its 100,000-square-foot “medical and wellness” center this fall, is aiming to be a model for how hotels can be designed to stay open and operational during future pandemics.

“When we set out to do this project we were contemplating… what’s not been done in hospitality,” said Dan Kodsi, chief executive officer of Royal Palm Companies, developer of Legacy Hotel and Residences, which is working In collaboration with healthcare expert Stephen Watson. “You want to design something that’s going to be viable long term.”

The development will have 274 “branded vacation residences,” above a 256-room hotel.

“Wellness” has long been a buzzword in development, but it usually refers to amenities such as gyms, spas and meditation rooms. Kodsi said that Legacy’s Center for Health + Performance will include an onsite lab and pharmacy, elective surgical suites, diagnostic imaging capabilities and a dedicated number of medically-equipped hotel rooms for post-surgical patients. It is designed to fit into the billion-dollar medical tourism industry. The developers are in talks with two national hospital groups to operate the medical center

There have long been hotels attached to medical centers, but few have had the same level of luxury planned for this project, Kodsi said. 

The tower comes with a rooftop pool. The developers also consulted healthcare architecture firm Perkins & Will, healthcare consulting firm Coker Group and healthcare construction company Vilar-Hoynack. After the coronavirus pandemic hit, Kodsi said the developers decided to apply the same design principles from the medical center to the hotel and residences, upgrading the ventilation systems and planning to include more voice-activated, touchless technology and UV light sanitation.

The tower will have a dedicated number of medically-equipped hotel rooms for post-surgical patients. “If there is a future pandemic or shelter-in-place, the hotel stays operational,” Kodsi said.  The development is averaging four to five contracts a week. “Having a medical center has made people more enthusiastic,” Kodsi said. “People take comfort in buying in a place that has these kinds of amenities.”

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