Art Deco apartments in South Beach to be converted to short-term rentals

Miami /
Jun.June 06, 2016 03:00 PM

A boutique apartment building in South Beach has a new owner and a new purpose: the 10-unit Art Deco building was sold to a Spanish investment group that will convert the property to short-term rentals.

West Avenue Deco Apartments LLC sold the building at 1443 West Avenue for nearly $2.2 million, MSP Group told The Real Deal. MSP Group principals Deme Mekras and Elliot Shainberg represented the seller, who they declined to disclose. The deal closed on Tuesday.

The Miami-based LLC, which is controlled by attorney George Befeler, paid $1.6 million for the 6,100-square-foot building in February 2015 and put the property on the market in December for $2.4 million.

“The property sits in the West Avenue Bayfront Overlay District, which allows properties in this zone to operate under the city’s Suite Hotel designation,” Mekras said in a press release.

Built in 1936, the building includes two studio apartments, four studio units with dens, and four one-bedrooms. The new owner will be applying to change the current use from multifamily to suite hotel, and will operate the building as a vacation rental, according to the release.

Operating short-term rentals in place of long-term apartments is appealing to investors looking to increase their profits. And websites like Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO could  impact the availability of workforce and affordable housing, especially in Miami Beach.

At an April panel covering the impact of Airbnb on the hotel industry, city manager Jimmy Morales said home-sharing websites “used to be more of a quality of life issue … Now it’s grown to an economic issue as well.”


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