MiMo Preservation in North BeachSeptember 9, 2013
Ah, the Golden era of Miami Beach…. It was the mid 1940’s, and the South Beach Art Deco District was significantly present & built. North Beach offered development opportunities to young and emerging architects looking to place their mark on the Post War Modernist Movement. With the help of some Starchitects like Norman Giller, Morris Lapidus, Melvin Grossman, Robert Swatburg, and others, our treasured MiMo District in North Beach was born.
To best describe MiMo design, think about the jets & automobiles of the era, mix in some fun like cheese holes and boomerangs, then add a bit of Sinatra, Davis, and Martin. New construction and development in South Florida was at an all time high, with newcomers calling Miami home, and tourists flocking to Miami Beach for the best entertainment under the sun. The Rat Pack performed often, and the Beatles played on the Ed Sullivan Show from the Deauville. The most recognized MiMo treasure would be the Fontainebleau Resort in Miami Beach, which has been used as the backdrop for several movies. Our favorite would have to be James Bond’s Goldfinger. (Click photo below to view short clip.)
Fast forward to Miami Beach in the early 2000’s, and we come upon a familiar scene. With South Beach’s Historic Art Deco District, mostly preserved and internationally recognized, Miami Beach looks on to save another treasure in their city, MiMo buildings. After the successful renovation of the Fontainebleau, the city created a guideline for MiMo restoration to assist property owners how to best preserve the MiMo architecture in North Beach. As MiMo buildings now average 65 years in age, many require some upgrades to meet current code. This helpful guideline makes recommendations for the following:
- Railing repair or replacement
- Exterior Lighting
- Window & door replacement
- Landscape design
- Roof replacement
One of the most interesting options available to a property owner considering MiMo Preservation in North Beach is to allow the development of unused FAR (Floor to Area Ratio – used to calculate build-able square feet on land) on a historic building. So long as a developer met MiMo guidelines on the design, she could essentially build another story on the existing structure. The new construction would still need to adhere to current code for new build, but this is a great alternative to trashing and demolishing a MiMo treasure and build all new construction. Property owners could make existing units larger by adding another story, and by reducing the number of units. Although this option has been available for almost a decade, no one has taken advantage of it in North Beach, until now.