Developers for two major redevelopment proposals will seek final approval for their projects before the Miami Historic and Environmental Preservation Board on Feb. 7. One partnership aims to build a hotel redevelopment in MiMo with neighborhood pioneer Avra Jain and another applicant wants convert a building near the Design District to full retail.
The MiMo (Miami Modern) neighborhood along Biscayne Boulevard north of downtown Miami has attracted new restaurants and retail as older properties, such as Jain’s Vagabond Hotel, have been revamped. Now she wants to take the Bayside Motor Inn at 5101 and 5125 Biscayne Blvd., which has been closed for several years, and reinvigorate the site with retail, restaurants and offices.
Built in 1952, the two-story hotel totals 13,511 square feet and previously had 40 rooms. A company controlled by Jain sold the 29,360-square-foot site in June 2016 for $4.05 million to 5101 RE CO LLC. The owner is a partnership between Ricardo Caporal-led Mattoni Group and Jain.
Urban Robot Associates designed the MiMo project.
Under the plans, the 6,430-square-foot building on the northern part of the site along Northeast 52nd Street would be torn down, as the city considers it a non-contributing structure to the historic building to the south. That building is in really bad shape, Jain said.
In its place, the developer would build a three-story building of 18,994 square feet. The new building would have 4,908 square feet of retail on the ground floor and 14,086 square feet of offices on the top two floors.
“They want more activity for neighborhood and office is a really nice fit,” Jain said. “People are there during the day and supporting the restaurants and local businesses.”
Jain recently converted the South Pacific hotel in MiMo to office space and her group owns the 5555 Biscayne Blvd. office building. She said office tenants like MiMo because it’s easier to access than Brickell and many restaurants that are attractive to employees.
The developer would provide 60 parking spaces, including 37 in a new underground garage. While the underground garage would be expensive, Jain said it was important to provide enough parking so the project doesn’t negatively impact the neighborhood.
“Because of the rents and demand for retail and office in the neighborhood, the market has told us it supports spending the money,” Jain said. “Given the demand for Biscayne Boulevard, a lot more things are economically feasible to do.”
As for the existing Bayside Motor Inn building, Jain said she would convert its ground floor to restaurants, enhance the courtyard, and keep two or three hotel rooms on the top floor. That building previously had 18 hotel rooms.
“You can’t really run a hotel with 18 rooms,” Jain said. “The fixed costs are too high. That is why a lot of motels lend themselves to adaptive reuse.”
Attorney Iris Escarra represents 5101 RE CO LLC.
Building near Design District could be converted to retail
A building in the Buena Vista East Historic District, on the northern end of the Design District, could be almost completely revamped for retail use.
Luxury retailers have flocked to the Design District as Craig Robins’ Dacra has redeveloped much of the neighborhood. The district has some of the highest rents and property values in Florida.
In April 2016, 4141 Design LLC, owned by Remy Jacobson, paid $10.5 million for the 15,901-square-foot office building at 4141 N. Miami Ave. The three-story building was built on the 9,700-square-foot lot in 1961. In November 2016, the developer started interior demolition of the building, according to county records.
The application seeks to lift a restriction that the building have no more than 4,000 square feet of commercial use so that it could be completely retail in use.
Under the plan crafted by Shulman + Associates, the developer would remove the building’s existing masonry and replace it with glass panels, leaving only the “turning forks” that line its walls. A rooftop terrace would be built for open-air events. The stairs at the main entrance would be removed and the doorway would be lowered to ground level. Behind the building on the east side, the developer would add two entrances, new windows and balconies and a garden patio. On the south side of the building, the developer would install a window spanning all three stories.
Essentially, the enclosed office building could become a glass-encased retail space.
Miami attorney Ryan Bailine, who represents 4141 Design LLC in the application, declined comment.