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Front Page » Top Stories » Art Deco Beach Hotels To Undergo Rehab Marriage

Art Deco Beach Hotels To Undergo Rehab Marriage

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Written by on November 2, 2000

By Marilyn Bowden
Seven Art Deco hotels across from the Miami Beach Convention Center will be renovated and remarketed as a single complex called Collins Park Hotel, developer Shane Rowlls said.

He said the Collins Park, Adams, Tyler, Gamshire, Lord Charles, Sunking No. 1 and Sunking No. 2 hotels — all on the block between 20th and 21st streets and Park and Washington avenues — will be renovated by Arthur Marcus of Swanke Hayden Connell Architects and joined by a central courtyard. They’ll operate as a single hotel using the Collins Park’s address, 2000 Park Ave.

The hotels lie within the city’s Museum Local Historic District, adjacent to the rising Miami Beach Cultural Campus that will house the homes of the Bass Museum, Miami City Ballet, New World Symphony and Miami Beach Regional Library.

Cost of the project is estimated at $30 million.

"All the permitting is approved," Mr. Rowlls said. "Construction financing should be in place by December. We will start construction after the first of the year."

A late 2001 opening is anticipated.

Mr. Rowlls said he’s also putting up a 300-vehicle parking garage with 10,000 square feet of retail space a block away at 21st Street and Liberty Avenue in a joint venture with New York retail developers Paul Anton and Mike Groothious. It will be managed by Mickey Meyers of Amstel Parking. Marcus Frankel is project architect.

The $30 million Collins Park project, he said, will house 204 guest rooms or suites, 4,000 square feet of meeting space, a spa, a restaurant and a bar. Developers say it will target the mid-price market, both corporate and tourist, as well as conventioneers.

"The heart of the hotel is the courtyard," Mr. Rowlls said. "It will have the South Beach cachet and panache. We’re spending a lot on exterior and interior landscaping and lighting features.

"The rooms will be designed by Patrick Kennedy, who did the Astor Hotel interiors, along the same lines."

Mr. Marcus — a former chairman of the city’s joint Design Review & Historic Preservation Board who has restored other historic properties in the same area — said the seven hotels were designed by some of the most famous Art Deco architects of the period, including Henry Hohauser, Albert Anis and L. Murray Dixon.

He said the buildings range from the classic streamline modern designs of the 1930s — recalling the era’s fascination with electric flash, radio waves and electric power — to early 1950s structures with modernist, post-war detailing.

"The challenge posed by this collection of historically notable buildings," Mr. Marcus said, "was to recognize and retain the historic features associated with each while proposing an overall master plan which collectively unites them as a single hotel entity."

Because of the vast scale of the project, Mr. Marcus said, the city granted permission to tear down a third of Sunking No. 2.

"They are thrilled to see someone come in and redevelop nearly a block," he said.

Mr. Rowlls, a newcomer to the area, said his most recent development was a $50 million multi-family high rise in downtown Chicago.

He said he’s looking at a couple of deals in Miami Beach and the Brickell area. start construction after the first of the year.

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