Image: St. Martins Lane Hotel, London (exterior)
South Beach is familiar with the Ian Schrager effect: having elaborately thought-out forward-thinking luxury hotels (Delano and Shore Club) that add to the Beach’s mystique. One cannot appreciate Schrager-inspired creativity until you, not just enter, but stay in one of the hotels he founded. Although the Delano and Shore Club are no longer associated with Ian, the resonance of his style, organization, and hospitality philosophy remain. If South Beach is familiar with the Schrager effect, then NYC is the epicenter of it. In the Big Apple Schrager founded (currently owned by the Morgans Hotel Group):
Schrager also founded the St. Martin Lane Hotel and Sanderson Hotel in London, and the Mondrian Hotel in West Hollywood. He is currently beginning to involve himself in residential development under the Ian Schrager Company.
Image: Hudson Hotel, NYC
That being said, in late 2005, Schrager and a parter acquired three Riande Continental hotels: Orlando, Miami Beach, and Downtown Miami. The third of these is of the most interest. The Downtown Riande sits in the heart of the CBD at N.E. 2nd street and Biscayne Blvd. It’s across the street from Everglades on the Bay and two blocks from both 50 Biscayne and the site for the proposed Empire World Towers.
Image: Mondrian Hotel bar, West Hollywood
It has been rumored, but not substantiated, that he may sell all the Riandes. Since late 2005, Schrager has not made any moves, but with the exception of One Miami, none of the Biscayne Blvd buildings have fully occupied. The boom’s transition is still taking shape. It makes more sense for many reasons (construction noise, Biscayne Boulevard improvements, etc.) for Schrager to wait to make a move.
Downtown has none of the mystique South Beach possesses, but Ian Schrager can help change that with one of his signature hotels in the heart of it. We’ll have to keep an eye on the Downtown Riande, for if Schrager tranforms the site, then it will add an intriguing dimension to the Downtown storyline.