If you enjoy what you do you’ll never work a day in your life – is an appropriately applied saying for re-development of the property at 2360 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach Florida. What had originally been called the Ankara Motel designed in the Florida Mid-Century Modern style in 1954 by Reiff and Feldman, had gone through a number of incarnations, by 2002, it had become a neglected youth hostel that was incredibly popular, but on its last legs. The property itself was more than an acre of land, with canal on two sides and sat at the north tip “entrance” to South Beach and significant building rights that could be used for a seven to nine story tower in the rear parking lot. It had a number of unique challenges that made the re-development particularly long and difficult, not least of which the hotel was half way through a 90 year ground lease, any re-development would require re-combining the land and the real estate in to a single entity. While the hotel itself was not a historically designated structure, the neighborhood was, so the facade of the building would have to remain and all work would require approvals from the Historic Preservation Board as well as the Zoning Board.
The scope of the project was to renovate and re-brand the hotel and run it while simultaneously negotiating to acquire the land, design a building that would maximize allowable square footage, while blending in to the architectural fabric of the surrounding historic neighborhood, re-package and sell the property to a builder.
The renovation and re-branding of the hotel had to be completed in three months so as to catch the “winter season” in Miami Beach. The designer was Bo Sundius of Bunch Design in LA, Tim Ronin for branding and digital media and a whole collection of artists who were given a budget to design individual rooms.
The overall property re-development plan and parking lot tower was done with Allan Shulman as the architect.