Faena lands demolition OK for Versailles lobby

The property will be torn down to build two condo towers

Mar.March 09, 2016 11:15 AM

Faena Versailles towers and Alan Faena

Nine months after a boxy 1955 addition to the Versailles Hotel was torn down as part of Faena Miami Beach, the Miami Beach Preservation Board approved additional demolition work in the Art Deco hotel’s lobby.

Deborah Tackett, Miami Beach’s design and preservation manager, on Tuesday recommended the board approve the demolition work, citing structural issues in the lobby area. Representatives for Alan Faena’s 3425 Collins LLC said the demolition was necessary for the construction of two new residential towers, Faena Versailles Classic and Faena Versailles Contemporary, that the Argentinian developer is building on the Versailles site, at 3425 Collins Avenue.

The existing 1940s building is being transformed into a 22-unit condominium designed by William Sofield that will be called Faena Versailles Classic. Faena is preserving the facade, most of the grand lobby, terrazzo flooring and custom chandeliers. Each suite will include ocean views, and custom kitchens and bathrooms, ranging from one to four bedrooms. The building will also feature two duplex penthouses with up to 7,300 square feet.

A new tower, Faena Versailles Contemporary, will rise next to the original Versailles that will consist of 41 units designed by architect Brandon Haw. Faena Versailles Contemporary’s suites will range one to five bedrooms, with two penthouses exceeding 8,000 square feet.

During its monthly meeting, preservation board members also signed off on variances that allow the developer to reduce the front setback for a driveway, build spiral staircases leading up to the penthouses in Versailles Classic, and exceed the maximum allowed height and the maximum allowed length for a porte-cochere.

This past December, Faena and his partner Len Blavatnik opened Faena Hotel Miami Beach, formerly the Saxony Hotel. They also finished Faena House condominium tower, where unit owners are expected to start moving in this summer. The Faena District will also feature an arts complex known as Faena Forum, a retail building called Faena Bazaar and a parking garage.

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