Two years after signing a deal with the Heafey Group to restore the Miami Women’s Club to its original luster, club leaders are moving forward with their renovation plans to turn the historic waterfront property into a restaurant and lounge space.
Miami’s Historic and Environmental Preservation Board on Tuesday unanimously approved MWC Development’s request for several waivers needed for the restoration, according to the property owner’s attorney Vicky Leiva. The board had previously approved plans for the restaurant and lounge use on Sept. 9, 2016. The building was originally completed in 1930 and is located at 1737 North Bayshore Drive, next door to Margaret Pace Park. The U-shaped Mediterranean Revival-style building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The waivers will allow Miami Women’s Club to build an outdoor lounge consisting of an 18-inch wood deck along the rear of the property facing Biscayne Bay, and a 13-foot high wall to conceal cooling towers, as well as allow vehicle entry from North Bayshore Drive. The rooftop lounge would be built on the sixth floor.
“I have been trying to get an upscale [restaurant] in there for the last 10 years,” Women’s Club member Dolly MacIntyre told the board. “I am so delighted this is going on. I urge you do to whatever you can to expedite this process.”
In June 2015, Miami Women’s Club approved a 90-year lease with the Quebec-based Heafey Group to reinvent the building into a restaurant and lounge. Heafey agreed to finish roughly $8 million of renovation work and provided a loan to pay off a $350,000 judgment against the club, according to published reports.
In a memo to the board, Miami’s interim preservation officer Efren Nuñez said the waivers would allow Miami Women’s Club to create an adaptive reuse of the historic building and provide a “unique restaurant” for the general public.