South Beach apartments could become boutique hotel
By Charlotte Libov
Metropole Apartments, a 42-unit, three-story South Beach apartment house with a courtyard that housed low-income tenants for decades, may become a boutique hotel following its sale for more than $6.1 million, a real estate agent involved in the sale said.
According to Still Hunter, senior sales associate with Marcus & Millichap in Fort Lauderdale, the circa-1940 building had been used as a subsidized apartment house since the 1980s, "when Miami Beach wasn't what it is today."
"It had been converted by a large real estate syndicate and had been run that way ever since," he said. Recently, though, the low-income restriction expired, so the real estate company approached owner Metropol Apartments Associates about buying it, he said.
"The value without the restrictions was much more than if it had been a low-income property. It skyrocketed. We marketed it as a condo conversion and had tons of activity and lots of above-list offers," he said.
"It was a very complicated deal. We had to get bonds released. We've been dealing with it for six to seven months."
The building consists of 32 one-bedroom, one-bath units and ten two-bedroom, one-bath units, with 3,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor and a courtyard "located in a location that is absolutely phenomenal," Mr. Hunter said.
"It's located at Sixth and Collins. It's an absolutely irreplaceable property," he added.
Tenants' leases were not renewed, so the property is vacant and ready for renovation, he said, adding that the buyer, Metropole Hotel Apartments LLC, will most likely renovate it for use as a boutique hotel or condos. Mr. Hunter declined to identify the new owner but the buyer was listed as Alan Lieberman, who owns several boutique South Beach hotels.
"It worked out well for both the buyer and the seller," Mr. Hunter said. "He was getting an astronomical number compared to what the income stream had been."