Storied Miami Hotel Gets $40 Million Boost

Miami-based Lynx Construction Management has announced it will be heading a $40 million overhaul of one of the most storied art deco buildings in Miami: Ocean Drive’s iconic Park Central Hotel.

Developers say the result of the mammoth undertaking will be one-of-a-kind in Miami: a sprawling four-building property combining the Park Central, Heathcote, and Imperial hotels, as well as a new structure.

The new design will “honor the city’s past and identity in the art deco movement,” Lynx said in a March 17 statement. Among the Park Central hotel’s new additions will be 12 state-of-the-art rooms across four floors, a fully renovated lobby bar and a glass-bottom pool that will be visible from the main lobby.

The Miami hotel’s 100 rooms will also be renovated in a fashion that “honors the original, historic design,” Lynx said. Chicago-based BB&T Real Estate is funding the $40 million project, the Commercial Observer reports.

“The largest and oldest operating art deco property in South Beach, few Miami hotels boast a legacy as decorated as that of the Park Central.”

Opened in 1937, the Miami hotel quickly became one of Ocean Drive’s most prestigious addresses, its lobby the site of decadent balls and opulent dinner parties, front desk employee Rudy Triani recounts.

A number of movies were shot inside the hotel over the years, Triani adds, one of the more recent being 2000’s The Crew with Burt Reynolds.

When art deco pioneer Tony Goldman of Goldman Properties visited the Park Central Hotel in 1985, Triani notes, he acquired the building immediately, effectively making the Miami hotel his flagship property.

“The Steinway baby grand that flanks an abandoned bar in the lobby is but one indication of the Miami hotel’s heyday glory.”

To its left, a set of musky curtains conceal a deserted dining hall where the ghosts of hotel regulars Lana Turner, Humphrey Bogart and Clark Gable are very much present.

But they aren’t the only guests who have yet to check out of the fabled Miami hotel.

According to Triani, countless guests have reported a mysterious presence in their hotel rooms. Five different guests have singled out room 2216 in particular, all of them insisting on a room change. And as recently as February, Triani says, a guest stormed out of the hotel after claiming he saw the figure of a woman in his bed in room 2203.

The Miami hotel officially closed its doors on March 9, with construction slated to begin immediately. A construction timeline has yet to be released.

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