A historic building in Miami Beach’s Collins Waterfront Historic District could be converted from a condominium into a hotel after significant renovations.
On Feb. 13, the city’s Historic Preservation Board will consider an application from the Prince Michael Condominium Association, which is now controlled by a developer, for changes to the property at 2618 Collins Ave. Nearly all of the 90 condos were acquired in separate transactions starting in 2015 by 2618 Collins Capital Holdings and various affiliates. The company is managed by Eli Dadonand Richard Waserstein, both of Bay Harbor Islands, and Avi Dishi of Miami Beach.
Miami attorney Michael Larkin, who represents the applicant, said the developer would terminate the condo association if the hotel redevelopment plan is approved. “This area has shown a lot of strength for hotel uses, starting with the Freehand Hotel and the Soho Beach house,” Larkin said. “The Collins Waterfront Historic District is booming with hotels, both on the east and the west side.”
The building at 2618 Collins Ave., which also has frontage on Indian Creek Drive, was built on the 23,800-square-foot site in 1951 with a post-War modern design by architect Roy France. It originally had both apartments and hotel rooms and was called the Wentworth Apartments. Then it was renamed the Prince Michael Hotel.
In the 1980s, the building was converted from a hotel to 88 apartments, and then converted to condos. In 1996, the lobby was developed into additional residential space, giving the building 90 residential units.
Under the plans crafted by Precision Design, those 90 residential units would be converted into 89 hotel rooms. All of the kitchens would be removed from the rooms, and balconies would be built for the windows facing the courtyard that overlooks the ground-floor pool.
The three-story building would be slightly expanded with a rooftop deck containing a new pool, a lounge, restrooms, and a sundeck. The building would only grow from 42,800 square feet to 43,549 square feet.
Larkin said the rooftop pool is necessary because the raising of Indian Creek Road by the city will make the ground-floor pool inhospitable.
In addition, the developer would restore the historic front desk in the lobby, add a small restaurant on the ground floor, and the storefront on Collins Avenue would be redone with impact-resistant glass. Because of the historic status of the building, there would be few physical changes facing Collins Avenue and Indian Creek Drive, Larkin said.
Larkin said the developer plans to make it a boutique hotel under the Prince Michael name instead of bringing in a national brand.
“It gives them more of a feel of authenticity,” Larkin said. – Brian Bandell