MELBOURNE, Florida—Driftwood Capital announced it has broken ground on the Element by Westin, a new 130-key extended-stay hotel located on oceanfront property in Melbourne, Florida; the hotel will be known as Element Melbourne Beach. The property is being built on the 2.56-acre site of a former parking lot located adjacent to The Crowne Plaza Melbourne, another property owned and operated by Driftwood Capital. It is the first Marriott-branded hotel in Melbourne Beach.
An official groundbreaking ceremony was held on-site. Speakers included Driftwood CEO Carlos Rodriguez Sr., Brevard County Commissioner Curt Smith, City of Melbourne Council Member Mark LaRusso, Senior Design Manager Victor Garcia, Global Design Americas at Marriott International, and Senior Vice President of Ocean Bank Juan Mendiola, which provided construction financing for the hotel.
The construction and operation of the hotel will create approximately 200 new jobs. In Brevard County, Driftwood also owns the Hilton Cocoa Beach and the International Palms Resort and Conference Center in Cocoa Beach, which will soon be replaced with a new Westin resort and convention center.
“After many years of planning, it’s always exciting to get the shovels in the ground,” said Rodriguez. “Once completed, the hotel will offer business travelers, large families, and tourists alike a contemporary, wellness-focused extended-stay option right on the beach, and within minutes of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center as well as many private space companies. We’d like to thank numerous individuals and partners involved in this exciting new development for all their hard work leading up to this momentous groundbreaking.”
Paul Alfrey, Mayor of Melbourne, said, “I want to thank Driftwood Capital and their team for investing in our community and for building a quality project that our citizens and visitors will enjoy.”
When complete in 2024, the six-story, 105,000-square-foot extended-stay Element Melbourne Beach will have 130 guestrooms with a contemporary design paired with modern amenities and a focus on wellness. Guestrooms at the property will have in-room kitchens with refrigerators, electric two-burner cooktops, microwaves, dishwashers, sinks, and bathrooms.
Wellness-focused amenities at Element Melbourne Beach will include a saline swimming pool, a 24/7 Motion Fitness Center, vehicle charging stations, Element bicycles designed by Priority Bicycles, and a pool deck with food and beverage offerings. The property will also have 24/7 on-site laundry and 175 parking spaces.
The Element Melbourne will be the eighth Element hotel in Florida; the brand has more than 75 locations nationwide. Driftwood Development will manage the project. Bermello, Ajamil & Partners Inc. is the project’s architect of record, and Certified General Contractors is the builder. Beyer Brown is the procurement agent; Ingenuity Engineers will design mechanical, electrical, and plumbing; and Kimley Horn is the civil designer. Driftwood Hospitality Management will operate the property.
Driftwood first acquired the site in 2018 as part of its purchase of the adjacent eight-story, 270-room Crowne Plaza Melbourne-Oceanfront hotel from InterContinental Hotels Group. Driftwood Capital separated the 2.6-acre parcel from the Crowne Plaza site following the purchase of the property in 2018. The site plan for the new hotel was approved unanimously in October 2021 by the Melbourne Planning and Zoning Board; plans were approved by the Melbourne City Council in November 2021.