Shuttered assisted living facility in South Beach could be converted into hotel

April 13, 2018

The former home of an assisted living facility in South Beach could be converted into a hotel if the city approves a pending rezoning application.

On March 28, a rezoning application was filed by 550 Ninth LLC, managed by Simon Nemni, for the property at 550 9th Street. He’s also the owner of the Red South Beach Hotel.

The company acquired the property for $17.63 million in February from the group that ran the assisted living facility. The seller was co-owned by Philip Esformes, who’s currently a defendant in a $1 billion Medicare fraud and money laundering case. The health care facility there, which was known as the Oceanside Extended Care Center, was shut down.

Situated on a 20,873-square-foot site, the building was constructed in 1966 and totals 52,133 square feet in six stories.

The developer wants to rezone it from “hospital district” to “multifamily residential-medium intensity.” This would allow it to convert the 88 assisted living rooms into 110 hotel rooms. In addition, the facade would be renovated, the hotel lobby would be built on the south end of the property, a 20-seat cafe would be added on the first floor, and a rooftop pool deck with a small cafe would be created. The 29 surface parking spaces would be valet only.

Bercow Radell Fernandez & Larkin attorney Michael W. Larkin, who represents the developer, said the new zoning would restrict the hotel from having an outdoor bar, hosting live or loud music, and seating more than 299 restaurant occupants.

“Simon [Nemni] doesn’t believe in very heavy food and beverage,” Larkin said. “He believes it’s better to offer superior service and derive the revenue from the hotel rooms.”

The developer is working with architect Shulman + Associates.

Larkin said the proposal must go before Miami Beach’s historic preservation board and planning board, followed by two public hearings at the city commission. He anticipates the first city commission hearing in July and the second hearing in September.

– Brian Bandell

Published April 12, 2018 in The South Florida Business Journal

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