Marriott was faced with the difficulty of renovating and reopening this under-performing property, which warranted a substantial corporate investment. Led by MGAC, the complex $50M urban redevelopment project faced language barriers, cultural barriers, and a lack of codified processes for development projects.
Upon arrival to the Dominican Republic, MGAC learned of the bureaucratic confusion and lack of processes on the island. Educating themselves in Dominican importation procedures, taxation, and local labor practices, MGAC team members became experts at Dominican regulations and the entitlement procedures. Creating relationships and performing due diligence, the team was able to identify a local project team that had the experience and resources needed to complete a project of this size. Following the hire of the General Contractor and subconsultants, we were able to define and implement a process for renovating the project.
The 10-story building was taken down to the concrete frame and rebuilt with new roofing, mechanical systems, curtain walls, exterior masonry waterproof coatings, new windows meeting Miami-Dade hurricane standards, a new sprinkler system and new fire and life-safety systems. The domestic water treatment facility was overhauled and brought up to current code. The public areas of the hotel, including the lobby, the ballroom, pre-function, restaurants, pool deck and associated features, fitness center and spa, were all gutted, reconfigured and renovated. Additionally, 300 guestrooms and suites received a complete softgood and casegoods renovation, including tub-to-shower conversions. Back of house areas including kitchen, laundry and offices were all modernized. Given the uncertainties and lack of established processes necessary to successfully execute a renovation of this scale in the Dominican Republic, MGAC retained the services of a local construction professional who knew the customs and practices of the island to act as our full-time, on-site representative.
Throughout the project, MGAC very carefully maintained records of costs and expenses. This was extremely important to the client because of the local Confotur Law, a tax incentive for those real estate projects that are located in tourist destinations. MGAC coordinated and assisted Marriott’s application for the tax incentive which was approved, resulting in savings of millions of dollars.
The Renaissance Santa Domingo Jaragua is a cultural touchstone for locals, with generations of Dominicans celebrating quinceañeras and weddings in the famous dance hall. The newly renovated hotel now reflects luxurious new brand standards for Renaissance guests and locals for generations to come.