Miami Beach board backs plan to convert Prince Michael condos to hotel

Investors plan to spend $30M renovating building, adding a rooftop bar, pool and ground-level restaurant

Feb.February 14, 2018 01:30 PM

From left: Postcard of 2618 Collins Avenue circa 1950, rendering of plans for 2618 Collins Avenue

Plans to turn the Prince Michael Condominium into the Prince Michael Hotel got a boost on Tuesday after the Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board approved the renovation of the 67-year-old MiMo-era building.

Eli Dadon, Richard Waserstein, and Avi Dishi want to renovate and convert the rundown 90-unit condo at 2618 Collins Avenue into an 89-room boutique hotel. Dadon said he and his partners plan to invest $30 million into the property.

The building is within the Collins Waterfront Historic District, which was set up in 2001 to help protect Art Deco and MiMo structures, so any alterations require historic preservation board approval.

The investors paid about $10 million to buy Prince Michael units between December 2014 and December 2017, or an average of $100,000 a unit at the building that is less than 300 feet from the beach, Dadon said.

“The main idea is to create a high-end boutique hotel and restore the property,” said Dadon, a partner at Adar Investments and Management, a Sunny Isles Beach-based company that specializes in investing in distressed properties. When the renovations are complete, Dadon hopes to charge guests between $300 and $500 a night.

Renovations will include creating a rooftop addition on top of a three-story building that will include an enclosed bar and a pool. The developers plan to restore the original lobby with decorative columns, terrazzo flooring, and a stone clad wall, and add a ground-level restaurant.

Built in 1951 by famed Art Deco hotel architect Roy France, the Prince Michael originally had 22 hotel rooms and 33 apartments. During the 1980s, the rooms were illegally subdivided, creating 88 units. The additional units were finally legalized in 1989, according to a report from Miami Beach Planning Director Tom Mooney. Then, in 1996, the lobby was transformed into two more residential units.

Half a dozen residents who live near Prince Michael Condominium told the board they had mixed feelings about the project. On the one hand, they were eager to see the Prince Michael Condominium fixed up. Consuelo Brown, a resident of Lake Beach Club Condominium just south of Prince Michael, said the Prince Michael Condominium is now filled with transient residents, trash, and vermin. “For the past 10 years the place is very noisy,” she said. “The police are always there.”

However, Brown and other neighbors who attended the meeting feared that a boutique hotel with a rooftop bar would generate even more noise.

To alleviate those fears, the developers’ attorney, Michael Larkin, said the hours for the roof-deck bar would be restricted to 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Landscape architect Vincent Filigenzi added that the vegetation he planned to surround the building will include trees up to 30 feet tall that will muffle any sound emanating from the hotel. Brown said she also wants the four-foot wall that separates her building from the Prince Michael to be replaced by a taller, soundproof wall.

Ricardo Piedra, president of the Capomar Condominium just north of the Prince Michael, said he doesn’t think the building should be a hotel. “It has residential multifamily zoning,” he said. At the very least, Piedra said there shouldn’t be a roof-top deck and bar.

Piedra and Brown both said they may appeal the board’s decision. If so, a special master employed by the city of Miami Beach will have final say on the Prince Michael renovation project.

But HPB member Nancy Liebman, a former Miami Beach city commissioner, said the proposed hotel is much better than what’s there now. “This is doing something new and fresh with that neighborhood,” she said.

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