Driftwood Capital (formerly Driftwood Acquisitions & Development), a privately held firm specializing in the acquisition, development and investment syndication of high-quality hotel assets, has selected Gensler as the architect for the Westin Cocoa Beach, a new $250 million oceanfront hotel development on Florida's Space Coast.

Gensler's project team will provide site strategy and planning, as well as core/shell building and interior design, and pull in professionals from its Miami, Tampa and Costa Rica offices. The project is expected to break ground in 2022 and would be Driftwood's largest project to date, creating approximately 2,000 jobs in the region.

The Westin Cocoa Beach will be built on a 17-acre oceanfront site at 1300 North Atlantic Avenue currently occupied by International Palms Resort & Conference Center, which Driftwood Capital owns and operates through Driftwood Hospitality Management (DHM) and plans to demolish. The new state-of-the art hotel and convention center built in its place will feature 502 rooms including 40,000 square feet of retail and over 50,000 square feet of meeting space - making it the largest convention center in the region. Driftwood is expected to open syndication for this property beginning in Fall 2020.

"The Westin Cocoa Beach is a transformative hospitality project that we hope will become iconic and emblematic of the Space Coast's revival as an economic hub and lifestyle destination," said Nelson Parker, Managing Director of Driftwood Capital's new GP Development Fund. "We sought out an architectural firm capable of creating something extraordinary, while minimizing the ecological impacts of such a new development. Gensler's exceptional track record in innovative, sustainable design deeply impressed us, as did the vision and commitment of their seasoned team."

The design will benefit from the creative perspective of Miami-based Shamim Ahmadzadegan, Principal and Design Director, who leads Gensler's mixed-use practice. He is known for bringing global design experience to complex, award-winning projects of scale and complexity across a variety of sectors. His projects include the Riverwalk Place in Tampa, Florida.

"Design begins and ends with human experiences, and brands that deliver seamless experiences will capture people's time, attention and spending," said Dawn Gunter, principal and co-managing director for Gensler's Tampa office.

"This exciting collaboration with Driftwood offers a chance to create not just a resort hotel with retail and other programming, but also a new lifestyle destination that embraces the unique characteristics of Cocoa Beach and the culture of space exploration associated with the area."

"We are assembling an award-winning team to make sure this is an iconic project that everyone from Cocoa Beach and Brevard County can be proud to have in their neighborhood," said Carlos Rodriguez Sr., Chairman and CEO of Driftwood Capital. "We will use the history of the area to guide us in the design of the hotel. From the 'I Dream of Jeannie' story, to the surfing culture, to the Space Race and NASA, all of these formative moments in Cocoa Beach will be inspirational concepts used in the design. At the same time, we are truly committed to making this project energy efficient and designing it by incorporating the latest in technology."

The Westin Cocoa Beach is slated for completion by mid-2024.

About Gensler

Gensler is a global architecture, design, and planning firm with 48 locations and more than 6,000 professionals networked across Asia, Europe, Australia, the Middle East, and the Americas. Founded in 1965, the firm serves more than 3,500 active clients in virtually every industry. Gensler designers strive to make the places people live, work, and play more inspiring, more resilient, and more impactful.

About Driftwood Capital

Driftwood Capital is one of the country's leading hospitality sponsors. A vertically integrated commercial real estate firm with investment, development, lending and management platforms, Driftwood's unique business model provides accredited investors access to institutional-quality hotel assets or capital solutions on a direct deal basis following deal closing. Since its inception, Driftwood Capital has transacted on more than $3 billion in hospitality assets, including new ground-up hotel development projects, cash-flowing hotels and hotel-backed loans, backed by an international network of more than 1,200 investors. Driftwood's in-house team of experts oversee deal sourcing, underwriting, financing, asset management, operations, development and legal issues, ensuring a total alignment of interests with investors. For more information, visit www.driftwoodcapital.com.