The Art of Hospitality

Edelstein and Rosen’s new W South Beach, which opened in July 2009, is a manifestation of all of the characteristics of the current Miami Beach—it’s chic, sophisticated, buzzing, beachfront, and, perhaps most importantly, culturally relevant. “That was our goal,” explains Edelstein, principal of Tristar Capital, which owns the hotel. “Miami Beach, being as vibrant and important as it is, both from a tourist point of view and on a cultural scale, has been given a clean slate, and we thought it was important to build something that was world-class.”

So build they did. On the land that housed a Holiday Inn for 40 years, Edelstein, Rosen, and Rosen’s partner, Michael Fuchs, embarked on the first ground-up new build hotel project on the Beach in decades, and likely the last one to be built in the coming decades. This is not the first collaboration between the two New York real estate titans. Rosen’s RFR Holding has spent the past 25 years building a priceless portfolio of unmatched properties, primarily in New York (including the Seagram Building, Lever House, Park Avenue Place, Gramercy Park Hotel, and 40 Bond St., amongst others) as well as Las Vegas (Die Miracle Mile Shops), South Florida (1100 Lincoln Road and Emerald Dunes Golf Club), and in Rosen’s native Germany. His expertise lies in the construction, design, and financing aspects of property development, while Edelstein’s strengths are in the day-to-day marketing. A former taxi cab driver who made it big in the real estate industry, Edelstein’s golden investment includes the Lincoln Road pedestrian mall, while his current portfolio includes two world-class buildings on New York’s Central Park West. RFR and Tristar’s history can be traced back to 1994, when the two companies began working on projects together in Las Vegas, during which Rosen and Edelstein became close friends. Together with RFR, Tristar owns and operates the 500,000-square-foot Desert Passage shopping mall in Vegas.

Edelstein is the mastermind who secured the prime land that now houses the W South Beach, following a lengthy negotiation process with former owner Robinson Callen, who was hesitant to sell. Once he did agree to part with the property, he had one stipulation: Edelstein had to build—not flip it for profit. He agreed without hesitation, knowing that countless developers would kill to get their hands on the prime property; not to mention that he wanted to create a lasting icon that would elevate the offerings in Miami Beach.

Bringing Rosen into the project was a natural decision. “He was one of the early partners with Ian Schrager in the Delano,” explains Edelstein. “He has a long history in Miami, so this evolved as a perfect fit.”