Brighter Days Coming to The Howard Johnson Dezerland -8701 Collins AvJune 9, 2014
At the end of last year, The HoJo Dezerland Hotel sold for $65 Million to the Terra Group. I remember being fascinated by the classic cars spread around in the lobby diner when I was much younger. Given that these classics still adorn the Dezerland today is a good sign that a serious make-over is long over due. The total acquisition consisted of the hotel property with 227 rooms and parking, including the surface lot across the street. This is truly a significant sale in North Beach at just over $286,000 per room. But with an additional 137,522 of buildable square footage left, Terra Group certainly had the vision to see the potential for this beachfront site bordering a park in Miami Beach. After acquiring the property, Terra split the lots along the beachfront – The hotel would be on one lot, and the attached parking area would serve as a vacant lot. Then Terra negotiated with the City of Miami Beach to purchase most of 87th Terrace – just north of the Dezerland for another $6,000,000. This currently offers 30 public parking spaces. Pedestrian access to the beach will remain under the agreement. These funds could be used by the city to renovate North Shore Open Space Park, a wonderful 32 acre beachfront park that is actively used by the community. Terra Group will also redevelop and maintain Marigold or 87th Street, the unused and ignored easement along the south side of the hotel bordering North Shore Open Space Park. Residents in this area are going to gain a wonderful amenity with the redevelopment of Marigold St into an Esplanade, which is being designed by West 8, the same firm who designed Miami Beach Soundscape Park. Hopefully further consideration will be given to continue renovation of the park by West 8.
Under the new plans, the hotel will be fully renovated and given it’s original name, Biltmore Terrace, which was one of the early designs of Morris Lapidus and Albert Anis, and a new residential tower will be built on the vacant parcel just north. The new plans for both the full renovation and the new construction were designed by Allan Shulman from Shulman + Associates.
The plans for the hotel reveal a wonderful outlook coming to the Biltmore Terrace, with several dining options, a pool lounge, and a rooftop terrace with bar and retractable roof. There will be plenty of outdoor seating available around the pool or in the sunken garden. The hotel will also include a spa and gym as well, and expansive balconies will be added to the south & east exposures of the building to provide wonderful enjoyment of the park & beach views. There will be 81 hotel rooms ranging from 300 to 962 square feet and 15 condo-hotel rooms ranging from 481 to 2170 square feet. The top floor will feature just 3 condo-hotel residences, with the west unit having a private 1800 sqft terrace. The design of the hotel and it’s wonderful amenities truly take into consideration all of the natural beauty available around the property. Check out some of plans below.
As for the surface lot just north of the hotel, Shulman + Associates have come up with a very unique design that include an Iconic Garden adorning the front entrance along Collins Avenue, with the massing of the building pushed back towards the rear of the lot then it will be flipped, turned, adjusted and composed(see designs that follow). The aerial rendering below shows how the massing will be centered. The residences in this tower will range from 1448 sqft to 2881 sqft, with the possibility of joining the ocean facing units on floors 11-17 for a total of 5600 sqft. The design also includes sweeping terraces continuously along the facade which range from 6-12 feet of depth on the higher floors, to as much as 30 feet of depth on the lower mezzanine levels. To meet the necessary parking count, the garage will feature double and triple mechanical lifts. The tower will have a total of 34 units.
This exceptional development will bring a wonderful project to North Beach, and especially towards the northern border which currently lacks an anchor. The Dezerland is so grossly under-utilized in it’s current state. Residents and visitors alike will have the ability to wander along the Esplanade and enjoy the dining and entertainment features of this future destination. Hopefully, North Shore Open Space Park will see further improvements to it’s paths, picnic tables, and gazebos, as well as an expansion of the beachwalk from 79th St to 87th Terrace.
There are so many wonderful plans coming to North Beach – both through private and public development. If you’re interested in claiming your own piece of paradise in North Beach, give us a call. We have something for every budget and are eager to meet new friends that can share in the passion of North Beach. From cozy MiMo garden condos to ultra luxury estates, let Urban Resource guide you to your next home.