A tech entrepreneur and inventor plans to convert a 102-year-old South Beach building into a private school.
John D. Marshall, founder of the mobile security company AirWatch, bought the 6,500-square-foot property at 224 Second Street in January for $4.8 million. Currently, the South-of-Fifth property consists of a one-story building constructed in 1917 and a two-story addition built in 1937.
According to a report from Miami Beach Planning Director Thomas Mooney, the building was originally a private school. After that, the property became a rooming house, an apartment building, and a restaurant. Its last incarnation was a medical office.
In July 2017, the Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board approved a plan to turn the two buildings into a 104-seat restaurant. But the restaurant was never built and now Marshall wants to turn the two empty structures into a private school for up to 40 children between the ages of four and seven, a plan that was unanimously endorsed by the historic preservation board this week.
Michael Larkin, Marshall’s attorney, said Marshall decided to buy the building because he wanted to send his children to a private school close to his Miami Beach residence. “He could have sent them to Gulliver or Ransom but he wanted the children to grow up more in a neighborhood South-of-Fifth,” Larkin said. Marshall, Larkin added, wanted to give South-of-Fifth “one more element of infrastructure for it, which is a school.”
This isn’t the only property Marshall purchased. On June 12th, Marshall bought two vacant parcels at 251 Washington Avenue totaling 13,000 square feet, for $6.125, records show. Larkin said Marshall plans to build a playground and “one more classroom” on that parcel. Larkin also said that Marshall may buy additional properties in South-of-Fifth, in the future.
Marshall sold AirWatch to VMWare Inc. for $1.54 billion, according to a January 2014 Reuters article.
Marshall now co-chairs OneTrust, a privacy, security, and third-party risk technology platform with headquarters in London and Atlanta, according to the company’s website.