Demolitions

The rate of demolition skyrocketed 8x in 2012.

[The rate of demolition skyrocketed 8x in 2012. It continues to rise in 2013.]

Miami Beach is rich in single-family homes that were designed by an architect for their unique location. Architects of note built homes along the canals and waterways of this barrier island, since its original development in the early 1900s. These architects included:

  • August Geiger
  • Russell Pancoast
  • Walter DeGarmo
  • Aldrich & Parker
  • Maurice Fatio
  • Treanor and Fatio
  • Henry Hohauser
  • Robert Law Weed
  • Carlos Schoeppl
  • Anton Skislewicz
  • Henry Maloney
  • Victor H. Nellenbogen
  • Albert Anis
  • E.L Robertson
  • Roy France
  • Martin Luther Hampton
  • L. Murray Dixon
  • T. Hunter Henderson
  • B. Kingston Hall
  • Igor Polevitsky
  • Roy France
  • Stefan Zahar
  • and many others

Unfortunately, the recent real estate bubble has put single family homes at risk of demolition. This is due to a number of factors, including:

  • An update to the zoning code in 2006 to allow for a maximum 50% to 70% unit-size to lot-size ratio. This is in comparison to the average of existing homes at 31% across Miami Beach. Developers now have a great incentive to demolish a pre-1942 home, based on the simple math that they can increase the size of the home by up to 133%, which translates into big dollar signs for any speculator
  • Insufficient protections for single-family home demolitions. The City of Miami Beach has yet to implement the proper set of protections to reduce the incentives for demolition
  • Lack of awareness among the community – many did not know until late 2012 how the demolition rate had skyrocketed

This has resulted in growing public outcry as citizens see homes in their neighborhoods meet the wrecking ball. Many of these homes are replaced with what can only be described as McMansions – huge structures that tower over their neighbors, and often include features only found in commercial buildings and hotels, such as rooftop decks and ceilings of 12 feet.

In 2012, the rate of demolitions skyrocketed – to 24 homes, from just 3 in the previous year. That was an increase of 8x – 8 years of home demolitions in just one year. Much of this is fueled by speculation, and a small handful of developers/architects are leading the demolition requests. In fact, 80% of single-family homes brought to the Design Review Board are from developers, not end users. This affects the design of these new homes, which are made to maximize square footage rather than to serve a specific purpose for an end user.

We must do what we can to help slow the rate of demolition and protect the historic legacy of Miami Beach and its islands. Please join us by filling out our online form. We will be in touch as we work to find a solution to Save Miami Beach Neighborhoods.