UPDATED May 9, 6:15 p.m.: Miami activist Elvis Cruz and the Morningside Civic Association are hoping to put the kibosh on Avra Jain and the Mattoni Group’s plans to demolish a building tied to the redevelopment of the Bayside Motor Inn site.
Cruz and the association are asking the Miami City Commission to overturn a February vote by the Miami Historic and Environmental Protection Board that authorized tearing down a 6,430-square-foot structure at 5125 Biscayne Boulevard.
The appeal was scheduled for the commission’s planning and zoning agenda on Thursday, but it has been pushed back to May 25.
The developer 5101 RE CO LLC, a partnership between Mattoni Group and Avra Jain, wants to replace the existing building with a new three-story building totaling 18,994 square feet that would have ground floor retail and offices on the top two floors. The board also approved the renovation of the three-story hotel at 5101 Biscayne Boulevard. Both parcels are located next to one another in Miami’s MiMo neighborhood.
“Avra Jain has an amazing track record at preserving and redeveloping in the MiMo Historic District,” said 5101 RE CO lawyer Iris Escarra. “Mr. Cruz’s appeal, in our opinion, is unwarranted and violates the settlement agreement entered into in 2014 when Avra agreed to build in accordance with the current regulations and give up the 8 Story vested project.”
In an email, Cruz said he was too busy to comment immediately.
At the February preservation board meeting, Jain also explained to the board members that the 5125 building had sustained significant fire, water and termite damage, necessitating the teardown. “I can tell you without a doubt that the building is not worth saving,” she said at the time.
Jain bought the properties in 2013 and sold them in June of last year for $4.05 million to Mattoni Group’s 5101 RE CO, but has remained on board as a co-developer. The Bayside Motor Inn was built in 1952 and has 40 rooms in a 13,511-square-foot building. The partnership plans to convert the ground floor into restaurants, enhance the courtyard and keep a small number of hotel rooms on the second floor.