A limited liability company headed by a tech entrepreneur aims to build a four-story private school in Miami Beach’s South of Fifth neighborhood.
The proposed plans for BaseCamp305, designed by Miami-based architecture for Arquitectonica, is scheduled to come before the Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board (HPB) on Mar. 14.
If ultimately approved, it’s slated to be built on a 13,000-square-foot parcel adjacent to the present BaseCamp305 school for pre-K through third grade students at 224 2nd St. The expanded school will house both elementary and middle school children, stated Michael Larkin, a partner in the law firm of Bercow Radell Fernandez Larkin and Tapanes, in a letter to the preservation department.
The school’s developer is John D. Marshall, co-founder and former CEO of Atlanta-based AirWatch, an enterprise mobility software provider. AirWatch was acquired by Palo Alto-based cloud computing company for $1.54 billion in January 2014. About five years later, via two limited liability companies, Marshall invested $10.3 million assembling nearly a half acre of land in South of Fifth Street. Since 2020, Marshall is the principal officer of BaseCamp305, a nonprofit with a mission to provide “an exceptional educational experience,” according to GuideStar.com.
The four-story project already received the backing from the planning board and HPB last summer. However, zoning variances are needed to install life safety equipment, a Florida Power & Light Transformer, a monument sign, and flag pool, without compromising the need for sufficient parking spaces or important school features, Larkin wrote.
The HPB is empowered to provide those variances since the project is located in a historic district, according to city code.
Private schools in South Florida have filled to capacity as business executives and wealthy households continue to move to the region to avoid paying state income taxes. Besides creating greater demand for private schools, it’s also helped South Florida’s commercial real estate sectors. In Miami Beach, quality offices are in high demand by billionaire residents who don’t wish to commute off the barrier island, brokers have told the Business Journal.