From Ramada hotel to rental complex — Hialeah getting new ‘attainable’ apartments

Rebecca San Juan
·2 min read

Amid a luxury-obsessed housing market, the median-earning renter is getting some love with a new apartment rental building.

Renters can soon consider the new four-story apartment building Alture Westland, which includes 251 rental units at 1950 W. 49th St. in Hialeah, according to South Miami-based Estate Companies Principal Jeffrey Ardizon. The development firm secured a combined $29.5 million in April from Centennial Bank and LV Lending to gut and renovate the former Ramada Hotel into an attainable apartment rental building, a community where rents are attainable by the median-earning household.

Rents will range from $1,000 a month for a 340-square-foot unit studio to $1,300 for a 600-square-foot one-bedroom, one-bathroom unit, Ardizon said. Amenities include a barbecue area, dog park, game room, gym, pool and WiFi lounge.

The project is under construction and will be finished by the fourth quarter 2021.

As the cost of living outpaces wage growth in South Florida, the rent for the studios at Alture Westland would provide an attainable housing option for the median-earning household in Miami-Dade County. The county’s median household income was $45,900 in 2016. Experts advise that rent be capped at 30% of the monthly household income, so a household that earns $45,900 should spend no more than $1,148 per month on rent.

In 2019, Hialeah was Miami-Dade County’s second largest city based on its population — nearly 240,000 residents. Other developers are building apartment buildings either in Hialeah or close to the city, including Shoma Group with its 304-unit Shoma Village and Terra with a 1,369-unit apartment rental complex.

“Hialeah is a price-sensitive market,” Ardizon said, “That being said, there is an issue in Hialeah where there is a lot of density and people being forced to live in efficiencies, because there are no other options there.”

Alture Westland is the Estate Companies’ first project in Hialeah. The firm purchased the 258-key Ramada Hotel in August for about $15 million. It is aiming to deliver other similar attainable apartment rental projects in Hialeah, Homestead and Aventura under the Estate Companies’ Alture brand, which focuses on converting existing buildings into attainable housing.

“We feel like there is a need for that middle market to have attainable rents,” Ardizon said. “With construction costs today, it’s hard to make the numbers work and achieve those rents. You have some distressed assets where you’re able to [buy, renovate and] accomplish those rents.”

Launched in 2012, the Estate Companies has developed a handful of projects across Miami-Dade and Broward. It has 13 projects in the pipeline, including in downtown Miami and the Health District.