The redevelopment of the historic Gehry-designed Deauville Hotel is up for a vote

The redevelopment of the historic Gehry-designed Deauville Hotel is up for a vote

How the next chapter of the (controversial) slated for demolition of the Deauville Beach Resort, an iconic 1957 hotel in Miami Beach’s North Beach neighborhood, will unfold will be left up to voters when they head to the polls next November. Yesterday, July 20, the Miami Beach City Commission voted to move forward with a Frank Gehry-designed redevelopment plan for the oceanfront site led by Related Companies President Stephen Ross. The New York-based developer behind Hudson Yards has deep ties to South Florida having grown up in Miami Beach and is the owner of the Miami Dolphins. Toronto-born Jerry also has a personal connection to the area.

Voters in Miami Beach will decide whether to allow upzoning along a four-block stretch of Collins Avenue (between 65th and 69th Streets) that includes the Deauville site. If the referendum is approved by the residents who cast their votes, three decisions related to the development plan will return to the committee for a second reading next December. the Serious matter mentioned. The proposal was approved 5-1 by the Miami Beach Planning Board last month.

The plan proposed by Related Firms — design renderings are forthcoming — would replace Deauville, an iconic MiMo landmark designed by Melvin Grossman, a disciple of Maurice Lapidus, with a pair of Gehry-designed towers. The taller two towers are scheduled to include 150 luxury residential units, while the other tower will include a luxury Equinox-branded hotel with 175 rooms. A large area of ​​green space will separate the two towers. According to a press release announcing the commission’s approval, Deauville’s overhaul “revitalizes North Beach and pays tribute to Deauville’s place in Miami Beach history.”

Mid-century hotel in Miami Beach
Deauville Beach Resort, a modernist Miami landmark known for its gateway and famous guests, was photographed here in 2018, a year after its permanent closure. (Philippe Pisard/Flickr/CC BY 2.0)

Located in a relatively quiet area of ​​Collins Street, the Deauville Hotel closed in July 2017 after the building sustained damage during an electrical fire that resulted in all guests evacuating; Just a few months later, the property took an additional hit from Hurricane Irma.

A protracted legal struggle soon ensued when the city of Miami Beach sued the hotel’s owner, an entity owned by the Meruelo family, for failing to maintain the hotel after the fire-related closure. (The Meruelo Group, which acquired the Hotel Deauville in 2004, was accused of deliberately allowing the historic hotel to fall into an irreparable state of neglect.) As the abandoned building deteriorated, Miami-area preservationists (including the Miami Design Preservation League) and North Beach residents jumped into action to save the legendary property from further neglect and possible demolition. During its glitzy mid-century heyday, the Deauville Hotel was a favorite Miami Beach haunt for a slew of notable names including Frank Sinatra, John F. Kennedy Jr., Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr. Most famously, the hotel hosted The Beatles in 1964 when the Fab Four played at the legendary Napoleon Ballroom during their first visit to the United States.

In March of this year, Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Michael Hansman, reportedly affected by the tragic June 2021 collapse of the Champlain Towers South in nearby Surfside, ordered the rapidly deteriorating hotel demolished despite ongoing community-led efforts to spare the victims. Hotel and restored. Work on dismantling sections of the hotel began shortly after Hansmann’s order; A full demolition is scheduled for this fall, according to The Serious matter.

In May, Related Companies acquired the nearly 4-acre property from the Meruelo Group for an undisclosed price and announced plans to redevelop the site following the demolition of Deauville.

For many years, the Deauville Beach Resort served as an architectural landmark and celebrity magnet in a low-key section of Miami Beach. (Philippe Pisard/Flickr/CC BY 2.0)

“Until it fell into disrepair, Deauville was an iconic part of our history. It is tragic that it has now fallen into disrepair that only serves to strip this area from our city,” Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said in a statement. “Our vote today sets a course that honors Its former glory and presents a project that will elevate and revitalize the North Shore.”

As presented to the commission during yesterday’s meeting, the redevelopment plan comes equipped with a significant community benefits package that includes money for an on-site community facility, seed funding to establish a housing relief fund, and dedicated funding for arts education in the area. , a “historic” agreement with the local hotel workers union UNITE HERE Local 355, and public beach access. The project will also generate an estimated $6 million annually for the North Beach Community Redevelopment Association while generating approximately $3 million in annual resort tax for the City of Miami Beach.

“As someone who grew up on the North Shore, this project holds a special place in my heart,” Ross said. “I am thrilled that the commissioners and mayor saw how great a new and improved Deauville is for North Beach, and they voted to approve it on first reading. As this process progresses, I hope voters will see the transformative nature of this project and all that it will add to the North Beach lifestyle, today and for generations to come.”

“If the redesign is approved Deauville “It will be an unprecedented opportunity to honor the history of the site while building a new future for the community,” Frank Gehry added.

Just last month, Related Firms revealed the design of another major South Florida project currently underway: One Brickell Center, an ultra-tall office tower in Miami’s Financial District developed in partnership with Swire Partners, Inc. It was designed by Arquitectonica in its hometown. When completed, this project will be the tallest non-residential skyscraper in Florida.

As for the redevelopment of the Deauville property in North Beach, that It will come back as the approvals process progresses and more design details are revealed.

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