Florida International University is getting a hotel.
On Thursday, the Florida Board of Governors approved a partnership between Concord Benchmark LLC and FIU to build a $66 million hotel and conference center at the 342-acre Modesto A. Maidique campus in West Miami-Dade.
The 150-bed hotel will also feature a 32,000-square-foot conference center and a 13,700-square-foot Alumni Center, which can be used by FIU alumni for academic, social, and business gatherings. The facility is scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2021.
“This project brings together our vision for an alumni center with a privately-funded hotel and conference center that will serve the university, the surrounding business community and will draw added visitors and job creation to our area,” said FIU Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration and CFO Kenneth A. Jessell.
University hotels are common around the U.S., catering to parents, alumni, and special guests visiting campuses. The FIU hotel will be the first university hotel in South Florida.
The $59.4 million hotel will be built by Virginia-based Concord Eastridge and operated by the Benchmark Management Company.
The developer and operator will assume all financial risks of the hotel and conference center. The hotel’s land will be leased at market value ground rent with an initial lease term of 40 years, with two five-year renewal options.
The Atlanta-based Rabun Architects will oversee the building’s design.
The Alumni Center will cost $6.8 million and will be funded by the FIU Foundation and private donations from the school’s Next Horizon: The Campaign, an ongoing $750 million fund-raising effort to continue to develop the school’s research and educational resources.
“The alumni center will bring the Panther Nation together and provide all of us with expanded opportunities for career development and networking,” said Maria D. Garcia, president of the FIU Alumni Association.
The FIU hotel will be located on the northwest corner of campus near the Florida Turnpike and across the street from the University Bridge Residences, a mixed-use complex under construction at 740 SW 109th Avenue.
The first phase of that project, a 20-story apartment rental tower, is scheduled for completion in 2020. Two other towers — one for students, another for faculty — are planned.