Avra Jain buys Miami River Inn for $8.6M

Miami River Inn and developer Avra Jain
Miami River Inn and developer Avra Jain

The Vagabond Group, led by developer Avra Jain, picked up an historic 58-room inn near the Miami River for more than double its last sale, Aztec Group told The Real Deal.

Miami River Inn Holdings sold the Miami River Inn’s 1.5-acre site for $8.6 million. Jason Katz, Aztec Group vice president, represented Vagabond Group in the purchase of the three-story inn, considered Miami’s longest operating hotel, at 437 Southwest Second Street, on the south side of the Miami River. Alfonso Jaramillo of Fortune International Realty represented the seller.

The sellers brought the hotel out of disrepair when they bought it for $4.2 million in July 2013, Katz said.

“It’s been operating, but not at its full potential. Generally speaking, it could be something like the Vagabond with a food and beverage component,” Katz told TRD. “[Jain] is looking to take it to another level.”

Jain obtained a $5.5 million loan from Eastern National Bank for the Miami River Inn.

The hotel was built in 1906, and portions of it are part of the South River Drive Historic District. “Over 50 years ago it was a boarding house, and 100 years ago it was a hostel,” he said.

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The neighborhood, which is across the street from the riverfront, is East Little Havana, which is up for rezoning.

“It’s such a unique property that it is invaluable,” Katz said. “It’s really an emblem of the growth in the area.”

The Miami River is increasingly drawing new development. Andy Hellinger is building River Landing, a massive nine-acre development that will include apartments, retail and a linear park along the riverwalk.

All-in-all, more than 4,000 residential units and more than half a million square feet of retail establishments, including restaurants and bars, are under construction or planned for the Miami River area.

“There are a lot of things going: Chetrit, Related (Brickell Heights) and KAR Properties. At least three major mixed-use high-rises are happening on the riverfront,” Katz said.

Jain recently redeveloped the 45-room boutique Vagabond Hotel, formerly the Vagabond Motel, at 7301 Biscayne Boulevard.