The owner of the International Inn in North Beach is in discussions with the City of Miami Beach about the potential of a historic designation for the property with certain development rights. The process began when the Historic Preservation Board expressed concern about the condition of the property in October of last year and took the unusual step to have the process initiated by the City versus the owner. In the meantime, Miami Design Preservation League Executive Director Daniel Ciraldo and preservation activist and former Commissioner Nancy Liebman (in a personal capacity and not as an HPB member) have met with the Hotel’s owner and her attorney to help her understand the process and to see its benefits.
This week, International Inn attorney Alex Tachmes told the HPB, “We have been in negotiations over the last several months with MDPL and with Commissioner Liebman and I think we have reached agreement, in principle, where our client would not object to designation in exchange for certain development rights that our client would get through a Code amendment. It’s a bit of a complicated settlement but I believe everybody’s happy.”
Tachmes is now working with the City Attorney’s office “in order to formalize the agreement, put it in writing, and then start the process of winding it through the approvals of Commission, whatever might be required.”
“I believe we’re on an excellent, excellent path,” Tachmes continued. “We’ve also pulled in [noted architect] Allan Shulman on our side to prepare some massing studies of what could be done to give our client some comfort that even if the property’s designated as historic she’d still be able to achieve her development potential with the property and things she wants to do.”
Because the Board voted to start the process by requesting a formal designation report from City staff, the site now has “zoning in progress” until October of this year, meaning the building could not be demolished without HPB approval. That fact along with the discussions that are continuing gave the Board a level of comfort to not take further action of their own until another progress report can be made next month.
Image: City of Miami Beach Staff report with credit to “Beyond the Box, Mid-Century Modern Architecture in Miami and New York” Exhibition Catalog, 2002
International Inn: Owner and City Working on Historic Designation:
Agreement may include development rights
Project will be the first under north beach master plan
City administration recommends height up to 200 feet
Closed since last July, interior condition of building still not known