1 Hotel, new eco-friendly hotel opens in Miami’s South Beach

1 Hotel South Beach, the former Gansevoort, reopens for business after a $500 million investment as an environmentally friendly property.

Starwood Capital, an investment firm that is not affiliated with Starwood Hotels & Resorts, partnered with LeFrak, a privately held group of real estate companies, for the massive overhaul of the former Gansevoort. The hotel was also operated as the Perry before closing for renovations in spring 2013. Including the $230 million purchase price in early 2012, the developers have invested about $500 million in the 426-room, 155-residence property.

“Everything was basically, for all intents and purposes, it was gutted and we started over,” said Richard LeFrak, president of LeFrak. He said windows, terraces, air-conditioning systems, elevators, pools, ballrooms, guest rooms, bathrooms and more were redone.

The hotel features four pools, including one on the roof; a signature restaurant called Beachcraft, a lobby bar and a  poolside restaurant from celebrity chef Tom Colicchio; another restaurant, STK Miami; a ballroom; and meeting space. Rates start at $699 a night for entry-level rooms with king-sized beds.

Ceilings in the lobby are made of wood reclaimed from water towers in Alaska, while some of the furniture was crafted with fallen trees from South American rainforests. On guest room floors, hallways are accented with wood from trees that were taken down by mountain pine beetles.

Miami Beach is the first outing for the 1 Hotel brand; a Central Park location is expected to open in early July, followed by a site in Brooklyn Bridge Park at the end of this year or early next, said SH Group president Scott Rohm.

The reputation of Starwood Capital and SH Group chairman and CEO Barry Sternlicht — who founded Starwood Hotels & Resorts in 1995 and created W Hotels, has been generating a lot of attention for the new hotel brand.