Construction Cost per Square Foot for Hotels 2012

Hospitality projects represent a growing body of work that EVstudio has played a role on in recent years, both for architectural design as well as structural engineering. All of these projects start with a pro forma and a fundamental question: How much does it cost to build a Hotel?

Because this is time sensitive data, we try to post as much information as we can on a regular basis in order to inform our clients’ programs. This post is relevant for 2012 and the data below is excerpted courtesy of RSMeans, the industry leader in construction cost estimating. These costs are for the construction of the buildings themselves, and do not include land costs, soft costs, financing costs or FF&E costs.

The two scales of Hotels that we are studying in this post are 4-7 stories and 8-24 stories. Below is a chart, representing the construction cost per square foot of 4-7 story hotels, classified by region. Note, there are wide differences in cost depending on location, and New York City tops the chart at $238.75 per square foot while Winston-Salem is on the low end at $137.08 per square foot. The median falls around $185 per square foot.

Moving up to 8-24 stories, we find that costs per square foot go up. This is largely due to the fact that larger hotels offer more specialized amenity space and tend to offer more elaborate finishes. New York City Tops again at $267.84 per square foot while again at the low end, Winston-Salem comes in at $153.77 with a median around $205 per square foot.

So, while in most cases, going vertical typically yields a savings per square foot, it is not necessarily so for hotel projects. Be that as it may, every project is unique, and index pricing cannot be relied upon solely for outlining your project budget. Many factors must be considered – not only geographic location. Building complexity, program, amenities and level of finish all serve to inform the estimated cost of the project and a qualified full service design firm like EVstudio can help design to your budget. If you would like to discuss your project, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we can help you with any phase from entitlements to architecture and engineering to final punchlist.


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4 thoughts on “Construction Cost per Square Foot for Hotels 2012”

  1. Craig,
    I haven’t seen this index published by RSMeans, however construction cost indexes are readily available in a Google search based on the region that you are in. No two regions are the same. While the general rule of thumb is 3% increase for inflation, construction costs have spiked significantly higher than that in recent years in many locations, so that cannot be relied upon.

  2. Dean,

    What has the annual increase in construction costs been for medical office construction vs for apartment construction, according to RSMeans?

  3. Ted,
    The data presented in the RSMeans charts is actually built up from individual labor and materials costs from a wide variety of project types and finishes. So, I would say that it creates an “average” level of finish as a starting point. For something more upscale, then you would add a % for a premium level of finish. That % could be as high as 80% or more for really high end boutique hotels. Likely more like 20% for what you are describing. Of course, for hospitality, FF&E often tends to be a very large part of your budget. The RSMeans numbers do not address furnishings, art, linens, etc. as they are specifically for the construction cost of the building itself. I hope this helps. If you are at any point in need of expertise in architecture, engineering or interior design for a hospitality project, please let us know as we would love to work with you on your project!

  4. Good Morning, In the 4-7 floor hotel cost model that is presented here, can you tell me what brand level that is for? ie: economy, long-term stay, mid, upscale or upper upscale. I am interested in the general upscale and upper upscale cost per square foot in this category for 186,000 sq foot hotel with 183 rooms. Also, I need a pretty quick turnaround on response for an analysis I am working on.
    Thank you,

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