David Grutman has executed nightlife and eating places. This month, he’ll open his first lodge with enterprise associate Pharrell Williams at 601 Washington Avenue in South Seaside.
Named The Goodtime — an ethos that encompasses all of Grutman’s enterprises — the 266-room, way of life lodge is poised to reinvigorate the Washington Avenue leisure hall, a stretch of South Seaside’s Artwork Deco district that runs from Fifth to seventeenth streets, which has fallen out of trend over the past decade.
Grutman first arrived on Miami’s scene in 2008 as managing associate of LIV, the now-legendary nightclub, contained in the historic Fontainebleau Resort. As soon as a hang-out for The Rat Pack, and a set piece for James Bond’s “Goldfinger” within the Fifties and 60s, the reimagined resort reopened with its personal celeb cache. Whether or not it was LeBron James celebrating the Miami Warmth’s NBA championship or the Kardashians partying within the DJ sales space, LIV established itself as a bona fide hotspot, promising an epic night time out fueled by heavy-hitter headliner DJs, from David Guetta to Tiësto, week after week.
In 2013, Grutman adopted up with sister nightclub Story, on the alternative aspect of Miami Seaside at 136 Collins Avenue within the upscale South of Fifth neighborhood, earlier than making the leap into eating places and past Miami Seaside in 2015, when he opened Komodo, a clubby pan-Asian restaurant within the Brickell Monetary District. Grutman’s Groot Hospitality continued its progress, opening buzzy, see-and-be-seen eating places from Swan within the Design District, his first partnership with Williams, to Papi Steak in South Seaside.
“I need to create an ecosystem for myself,” Grutman advised Business Observer of his enterprise philosophy. “We create environments for individuals to eat at, to occasion at. All of them join with one another. For me to not do a lodge can be simply prison at this level.”
When The Goodtime Resort opens on April 15, the expertise will likely be extra akin to next-generation hip, fashionable, accessibly priced way of life resorts which have cropped up within the space in recent times, reasonably than the luxurious opulence of the pricier oceanfront resorts alongside Collins Avenue. For comparability, The Goodtime’s opening charges marketed on its web site begin at $269 an evening, whereas rooms on the Fontainebleau begin at $447, and the most costly rooms on the seaside can simply run upward of $700 in excessive season.
“We’re actually hyper-focused on it being an expertise,” Grutman mentioned. “It’s a really whimsical property and it’s actually geared to satisfy the wants of as we speak’s traveler.”
The six-story, newly constructed lodge, designed by architect Morris Adjmi, with a corrugated concrete facade and luxurious atrium entryway, spans the whole metropolis block between Sixth and Seventh streets with 45,000 sq. ft of ground-floor retail. To set the scene for a very good time, Grutman and Williams tapped Swan collaborators Ken Fulk for inside design and Raymond Jungles for panorama structure.
The property is anchored by Strawberry Moon, a restaurant that opens as much as a 30,000-square-foot pool membership, serving Mediterranean fare day and night time. There’s additionally a fitness center and library lounge.
Whereas rooms are decidedly tiny, beginning with queen rooms at 180 sq. ft (a class that’s changing into recognized within the trade as “micro-sized”), Fulk’s fairly and playful contact is in full impact in a palette of pastel pink and inexperienced with customized bedding, leopard-print benches and bathrobes, and marble and brass loos with rainfall showers and Ortigia tub merchandise.
“We wish The Goodtime Resort to impart a sense of each revitalization and that uncommon, thrilling thrill that takes over once you uncover one thing particular,” Williams mentioned in a press release. “It’s that adrenaline-fueled sensation of getting into an entire new setting and an entire new mindset. This place will present a pure good time, for all who come by.”
Grutman and Williams partnered with builders Michael D. Fascitelli and Eric Birnbaum of New York-based Imperial Firms, an actual property funding and growth platform with roughly $1 billion in belongings.
“Years in the past, after we began development of The Goodtime Resort, we wager massive on Miami as a metropolis and Washington Avenue,” Fascitelli mentioned. “We’re thrilled to be part of such a novel vacation spot and expertise on South Seaside. The revitalization of Washington Avenue is synonymous with our success.”
Whereas Washington Avenue’s storied previous dates again to the Fifties — with the fifth Road Gymnasium, the place Muhammad Ali famously educated, and the Jackie Gleason Theater, which operates as we speak as The Fillmore — the road had its fashionable heyday within the Nineties, when Prince owned a nightclub there, and it was commonplace to see the likes of Madonna or Gianni Versace out for an evening in town.
Within the 2000s, as growth enthusiasm turned from Miami Seaside to mainland Miami neighborhoods like Wynwood, the Design District, Brickell and Doral, Washington Avenue fell into neglect and disrepair with many storefronts deserted.
“The whole lot has its ebbs and tides,” mentioned Troy E. Wright, government director of the Washington Avenue Enterprise Enchancment District, which shaped in 2019. “In the event you don’t modify to continually make change, you’re going to fall behind, as a result of there’s a special era with a special philosophy with different choices obtainable.”
By way of the BID, Washington Avenue’s property homeowners have banded collectively to proactively plan for the world’s future by revitalizing the road’s arts and cultural programming, and bettering its transportation, sanitation, safety and landscaping. Within the final 12 months, they’ve closed a lane of visitors to facilitate “parklets” for out of doors eating and added a motorbike lane. The road’s seen a 15 p.c improve in pedestrian visitors.
One of many greatest challenges going through Washington Avenue is notion. From raucous Spring Break crowds to a taking pictures outdoors an space restaurant earlier this 12 months, its fame can be in sore want of a makeover.
Wright’s plea to each locals and guests: “Don’t decide Washington Avenue based mostly on what you will have skilled beforehand or what you’ve heard on the information, as a result of we’re to date forward of that. There may be a lot extra to supply with the brand new resorts, lounges and eating places. It’s a breath of contemporary air. Folks really want to see and expertise it for themselves.”
Grutman remembers the world’s heyday within the ‘90s, when hotspots like Bash, Residing Room and Union Bar dominated the scene. “After I first bought to Miami Seaside, [Washington Avenue] was the primary block in all of Miami Seaside, after which it grew to become the worst block in all of Miami Seaside,” he mentioned. “I’m so excited to be part of the staff bringing it again to being one of the best.”
He’s in good firm. Whereas The Goodtime will quickly be Washington Avenue’s latest lodge, it’s becoming a member of a handful of neighboring properties owned by each native hospitality teams and nationwide builders who’ve a stake within the space’s success. Moxy Miami South Seaside, a Marriott Worldwide model, opened in February inside a newly constructed, eight-story tower at 915 Washington Avenue, developed by New York-based Lightstone.
And there are extra resorts deliberate on the horizon, together with the reopening of the Washington Park Resort, a campus of 5 historic, Artwork Deco buildings at 1050 Washington Avenue, which was not too long ago bought for $44 million by Jean Simonian, a Beverly Hills-based entrepreneur.
These newcomers be part of The Clinton Resort, a historic Artwork Deco property, at 825 Washington Avenue, which was redeveloped and reopened in 2018 by Shawn Vardi’s Assume Hospitality Group. Miami-based Assume additionally spearheaded the redevelopment of South Seaside’s Collins Park neighborhood a dozen blocks north.
However it was Marc Lawrence of Miami’s LBL Group who created the blueprint for the profitable, domestically owned boutique lodge on Washington Avenue, when he restored a captivating Thirties Mediterranean Revival constructing in 2008 to create the Angler’s Resort at 660 Washington Avenue. In 2013, he struck a administration partnership with Kimpton Inns, and, in 2018, the property debuted a contemporary, newly constructed tower addendum with a rooftop pool.
“The resorts are the catalyst for change,” Wright mentioned. “If we have a look at the upscale clientele that they plan to convey, then you definitely mechanically change the place we’re going and what individuals anticipate once they get right here.”
Whereas Grutman’s sights are set on scaling his manufacturers in different cities, there’s nonetheless loads of good instances on the horizon for Groot Hospitality in Miami. “I might reside anyplace,” he mentioned. “I select to reside in Miami as a result of I actually, in my coronary heart, assume it’s the best metropolis on the market. It has tradition, it has a vibe, it has an power. It’s an actual, genuine factor. And it’s rising so quick. To be a metropolis that’s so ahead considering and bringing in new enterprise, like tech, it’s simply an thrilling place to reside. Now we have all of it.”