Construction Cost per Square Foot for Motels 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 Motel?

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 Motels that we are studying in this post are 2-3 stories. Above is a chart, representing the construction cost per square foot for these projects, classified by region. Note, there are wide differences in cost depending on location, and New York City tops the chart at $223.42 per square foot while Winston-Salem is on the low end at $128.27 per square foot. The median falls around $174 per square foot.

It is important to note, however, that 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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22 thoughts on “Construction Cost per Square Foot for Motels 2012”

  1. Roger,
    Based on your program, I would do a rough back of the envelope analysis like this: 36 14’wide x 26’ deep units yields 13,104 square feet. Assuming that the building is 75 percent efficient, which would account for corridors, stairwells, entry lobby, offices, laundry facilities, janitorial and breakfast area (this number may not be conservative enough based on your actual program but close enough for a rough order of magnitude calculation), You would have a building that has a total finished square footage of 17,472. You did not mention your location, which can have a significant impact on construction cost. However, if I were to use a number in the middle of the range, say, $150 a square foot, then escalate it for inflation since the date this data was published, I would come up with $175 a square foot. This would yield a total project budget of just over $3 million. So if you are budgeting $1.15 million, you will be extremely low as that budget will only accommodate less than half that size of your building program. While there are many factors that can influence construction cost, I would not advise you to move forward with such a low budget for this program. Even if you were building in the lowest construction cost zone and used the least expensive materials and finishes, you would still be exceeding 1.15 million for a 36 unit motel by a fair amount. I know that is probably not what you want to hear, but it’s better to be realistic when you build your pro forma so that you can outline the fundamentals for a successful project. Best of luck and please let us know how we could be of further assistance.

  2. I am working on behalf of a client who is representing an organization who is interested in investing in a 36 unit motel with such amenities as manager’s suite, laundry facilities, caretaker room and continental breakfast lounge. I’m not sure what the size of the rooms are in todays standards but assume a regular size room with two double beds would be approximate 14 x 26 deep? I have estimated in total cost 1.150 million for the total units, including office space, etc. I believe i’m approximately 800,000 under my estimates? Can you help me out? I’m working on a proforma for the organization.

  3. Sylvester,
    Thanks for your question. Construction costs vary widely by location, so I would need to know where your project is located in order to provide you construction cost information. For A/E fees, you should typically expect anywhere from 4%-8% of construction cost, depending on many factors. That fee range would include Architecture as well as Structural, Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing and Civil Engineering…Everything you need for permitting and construction. EVstudio provides all of these disciplines in-house and has expertise in hospitality projects like this. We can provide you a great design that meets your budget because we can carefully coordinate and control each discipline throughout the design phase to closely monitor cost estimates as we go and develop the design accordingly so there are no surprises down the road. Let us know if you would like to speak with one of our design professionals and learn more.

  4. sylvester kurush

    we just want to build a motel in one level or two level with 24 rooms we have enough land we need the approximate cost for material architectural plan and engineering and materials cost

  5. Hi Jacob,
    Thank you for your inquiry. As a matter fact, we have designed senior assisted-living projects in a variety of care settings across the country. The most important information you must consider is local and state regulations for the type of care that you plan to provide. Assisted-living can range from independent living on the least restrictive side all the way to memory care and long-term care on the most restrictive side (complete with full-time registered nurses and a host of building requirements like med rooms and oxygen locations). Assuming you are operating a less restrictive type of residence, then you are generally correct in that the construction cost would be similar in nature to a hotel or Multifamily project by the square foot, but with a premium for accessibility considerations and other design details specific to senior assisted-living. With that being said, you could expect a range of $170-$190 per square foot for your location. Keep in mind that this is for the building only and does not include any site improvement costs, land acquisition, finance, FF&E, or any other costs specific to the operations. We do provide design services for this type of project, so if you are interested in discussing further, we would be happy to help you through the steps in the process for a world-class assisted-living project. Just contact us by phone or email and let us know if you’re interested in continuing that discussion. Thanks!

  6. Hi Dean,
    Thank you for all of the helpful information. We also have a project. We want to build a residential assisted living home. It would be a one level structure in West Virginia. We have plenty of land for a surface parking lot. We require 30 bedroom that could accommodate 2 residents per room. We would need a dining area. A recreational area. Front area with lounge. We would need need offices and classrooms. I don’t think we will need a kitchen because we would outsource that requirement. We estimate that the building would be about 20,000 sq. ft. In many wants it would be like a hotel. Any help from you would be much appreciated. Many thanks.

  7. Brian,
    Thanks for your question. There are a few other factors to consider, such as number of stories, room amenities, room size, housekeeping needs, or site size and necessary improvements. But for a typical motel project, you would be looking at $150-$180 per square foot. Figure a two story building with a floor plate of approximately 50’x 180′. That would yield approximately 15’x22′ rooms with a 6′ corridor and approximately 2200 sq.ft. for lobby, breakfast, office. That would be 9,000 sq.ft. per floor x 2 floors for a total of 18,000 sq.ft.. So, for the cost range, the building construction cost would fall between $2.7M and $3.2M. This would be building cost only and not include land costs, soft costs, finance costs, site improvements or entitlements costs or FF&E. I hope that helps. If you need further assistance with your project, just let us know. Thanks!

  8. Hi Dean, How much it cost to build a motel with 40 rooms, a lobby, breakfast area, no swimming pool, very simple. in florence,OR. 97439.

  9. Cyus,
    There are so many variables to consider in answering your question, I’m not sure where to begin. First, where is your project located? Second, what type of motel are you thinking about – a motor inn type of lodge or something more boutique? Does your location require high density vertical construction techniques with below building parking, or do you have the availability of land to build a more cost-effective building with surface parking? One or more stories? What amenity space, if any, are you considering (swimming pool, arcade, workout facilities, dining/restaurant, conference space, etc.)? Will services be provided on site? All of these things will drastically influence the amount of land necessary to build a project with 20 or 200 keys. Please let us know more information about what you have in mind and we are happy to help.

  10. hi gentlemen,

    what is the estimate land required per room for a motel.
    For example a 20 room motel .
    I mean the land for construction also the parking and landscaping all together.
    please reply ASAP.

  11. Martin,
    Could you tell me where the project is located? Some parts of the country are as low as $130/sq.ft. where others can run nearly double that. At $150/sq.ft, you would want to budget approximately $1 million for your project. Though site development costs and level of finish could influence that considerably. EVstudio as a team of experts that have a depth of experience with hospitality work, and we would be happy to help you with this project. Please let me know if you would like to set up a free consultation to discuss your project further. Thanks!

  12. can you give me a rough estimate to build a 30 room 200 sq.ft. ea. simple motel, with office reception, and laundry 6oo
    sq.ft. one floor motel.

  13. Hirak,
    Thanks for your inquiry. We would have to know a lot more about your project in order to give you any better guidance than general guidance of between $130/sq.ft. and $150/sq.ft.. What size rooms are you looking for and is there any amenity or utility space (check-in office, breakfast room, vending, laundry, indoor pool/spa)? Also, what level of finish are you considering? These requirements can really drive costs. Let us know if you need any design assistance with your project – we’d be happy to help!

  14. I would like to built a 50 rooms exterior motel in south carolina. How much would it cost per room and in per room price, what does include?

  15. Renell – It would be great to know where this project was located. Construction costs vary by location (as demonstrated by this article). Let me know and we’d be happy to help.

  16. I would like to know how much it will cost to build 15 to 20 room motel excluding the cost of the land. Average type rooms 12 x 20.

  17. Moosa, are you talking about Square Feet or Square Meters? Because I was actually being sarcastic…a 30 sq.ft. Motel room wouldn’t fit a bed, much less have a bathroom. Typical motel room size would be around 12’x20′, or 240 sq.ft. That would be 22 sq. meters. But if you are talking square meters, then your pricing is off by a factor of 9.

  18. By the calculation 450 sf will cost 58000 usdollars which is very good. The rest fund for the land

  19. Many thx Dean. I am non american citizen , so would u recommend me to go further for this project my total budget 100000 usdollars, i plan to invest at lowest cost per sq which is 129$×300sq, i plan to sale it, and does the mortage it if additional fund required?

  20. Moosa, anything is possible. Just might not be realistic, much less legal in your jurisdiction, where that may be…

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