By Brian Bandell  –  Senior Reporter, South Florida Business Journal

Cambria hotel proposed near the beach

A trio of older hotels across from the beach could be replaced with a new 97-room Cambria Hotel & Suites.

Hotel Motel Inc., owned by Jai Motwani and Jessica Motwani, filed the application for the $25 million projects at 2201, 2202, 2221, 2231 N. Ocean Blvd. The 1.11-acre site currently has three hotels with a combined 67 rooms that were developed in 1951, 1957 and 1973.

It’s right across from where the Auberge Beach Residences Fort Lauderdale is under construction.

The Cambria hotel would total 91,520 square feet, with 97 parking spaces, a fitness room, a meeting room, a coffee bar and a pool deck. Berrie Architecture & Design crafted the project.

Jai Motwani said he’s owned the site for 16 years and was approached by Cambria and its parent company Choice Hotels (NYSE: CHH) about building the select service hotel there. He noted that a select service hotel generally costs around $200 to $300 a night, while full-service hotels can be more than twice as expensive. The other new hotels under construction on Fort Lauderdale beach are full service.

“There are no select service hotels on the barrier island being built. Everything is super high end,” Motwani said. “Not everybody wants to pay $600 or $700 a room night.”

Motwani’s company also owns hotels in Daytona Beach and Missouri. He’s related to the Motwani family that owns development firm Merrimac Ventures, but Jai Motwani has his own business.