In 2013, we initiated an outreach campaign to homeowners in Miami Beach in order to document concerns with overdevelopment and demolition and to determine the best options that will preserve beauty while ensuring home values. Below are just some of the many comments that single-family homeowners in Miami Beach submitted to us.

“The footprint and sheer scale of these mcmansions being built all around my 1950s home dwarf the few houses left, and take up every possible inch of buildable area while having complete disregard to the green plantable spaces that could serve to create green buffer, shade, privacy between properties. Water runoff from the increased hard surface (driveway, building, decks) are impacting our drainage. Also concerning are the heights on these macmansions seem more like a three story building than a house, and which now cast shadows to neighboring properties blocking our right to the sunlight we used to enjoy in our own homes.”

Homeowner, Palm-Hibiscus-Star Island Association

“Everywhere I look, houses are being bulldozed and replaced with big square ugly concrete houses, that have no character or charm.  I also notice they are built to sell, and many remain empty to this day! They look like apartment buildings rather than single family homes. I can’t believe the city approves so many of them to be built.”

Homeowner, Venetian Island Homeowners Association

“We would like to keep Miami Beach with the same charm and character that our City has and deserves. We would like to Stop the exploitation by investors that are in our MB neighborhoods for only one motive: BIGGER Houses = More $$$$$$”

Homeowner, Venetian Islands Homeowners Association

“We think the mega-mansions look very ugly and destroy our beautiful neighborhoods. We hope there will be much stricter rules like in Palm Beach.”

Homeowner, Sunset Islands 3& 4 Homeowners Association

“Integrity of neighbors is eroding with these dreadful oversized McMansions. The modern lego houses are taking over the charming neighborhoods. ”

Homeowner, North Bay Road – Upper North Bay Road Association

“To maintain it’s character and not turn our islands over to the ultra rich. To keep more boxy warehouse looking homes from being built.”

Homeowner, Venetian Islands Homeowners Association

“We are so disgusted by what is going on in our neighborhood and all over MB that we’ve decided to move away from Miami. I’m so happy that we are not the only ones being concerned and that this organization exists now! You have 100% of our support. By the way: We own a home built in 1935 and would do anything to keep it “alive”!”

Homeowner, North Bay Road – Middle Homeowners Association

“McMansions are destroying the character of our neighborhood”

Homeowner, North Bay Road – Lower North Bay Road Homeowners Association

“We have a lovely neighborhood that is being invaded by McMansions that are out of scale and ugly.  I don’t want our neighborhood turning in to a speculators development.”

Homeowner, Lakeview Homeowners Association

“We are experiencing home renovations which are clearly not single family homes; there are transient rental parties; the traffic  becomes horrible; the music is so loud we cannot sleep.”

Homeowner, La Gorce Pine Tree Homeowners Association

“Miami Beach has changed so much in the over 65 years I have been here. These oversize houses do not belong here”

Homeowner, Palm View Historic District Association

“I have lived in Miami Beach for the last 37 years. To me Miami Beach is a sleepy, beach-side town and I would like to keep it that way. I do not want to see it turn into Coconut Grove, where all the uniqueness is now gone. ”

Homeowner, Nautilus Area Homeowners Association

“McMansions are horrible and made by people who do not live here or appreciate the history of this town.  I was born and raised here along with my husband and now my son. I hate to see these houses that stick out like sore thumbs being built in my neigborhood.”

Homeowner, Nautilus Homeowners Association

“The original charm of Miami Beach is priceless.  The new “icecube style” and McMansions are a disgrace.”

Homeowner, Nautilus Homeowners Association

“Save the beach feel. Continuity with community character. Keep proportion to lot size and scale of surroundings.”

Homeowner, Stillwater Park

“I cannot stand McMansions!!”

Homeowner, North Bay Road – Lower North Bay Road Homeowners’ Association

“There is a Mc Mansion being built down the block from our home. My mother is the registered voter but we both own our home and are not interested in these huge homes coming to our area. This is what was happening in Coral Gables before it was stopped.”

Homeowner, Miami Beach

“I live in one of the original 13 homes built on the dry side and already I have lost vision of the bay from my veranda from over towering homes and trees.  We are not deemed historical, but my estate is 1925 built and is in keeping with that time.  It used to be one of two two-story homes…. ”

Homeowner, Normandy Sud Homeowners Association

“Size and Architecture of Miami Beach homes must be in harmony with neighboring homes.”

Homeowner, Normandy Sud Homeowners Association

“I’ve lived here for 55 yrs and it hurts every time i see a 6000 ft monstrosity take the place of a lovely old home leaving no greenspace or history of what used to be a beautiful area.”

Homeowner, Bayshore Home Owners Association

“We have the best examples of deco & Mimo tropical archecture in the world- They help create an envioronment that is as beautiful as it is unique, that can not be duplicated. There is plently of beach property in Florida that is avilable for Mc Mansions, jut not in Miami Beach…please!”

Homeowner, Normandy Sud Homeowners Association

“These properties represent our cultural heritage”

Resident, Miami Beach

Hello, I am a realtor/developer and preservationist in Miami Beach since 1987. Some of you have known me throughout the years and are aware that I have renovated and restored over 40 homes and buildings in Miami Beach since that time. When I first started these endeavors I was told “don’t waste your time” and, it appears, here we are again. Are we willing to lose our World Class status and allow out of town investors and developers, who do not live here, I might add, to be the arbiters of our landscape? To allow them to decide which iconic houses, such as 42 Star, can be razed or deemed expendable all in the name of profit and ego? We need clear protections of our historic houses and homeowners should not fear them as the value is often higher per square foot than that of a new-construction home. This was proven again and again as I restored properties on Miami Beach.

We need to take a strong stand and put some meat into our legislation so we retain what makes us special; what makes everyone want to come to Miami Beach. Miami Beach and Palm Beach were sister cities in that they both began as resort areas. Palm Beach, however, decided to protect their inventory of historic properties and demanded developers adhere to size, scale and style of its properties when renovating or building new properties. What we have happening on Miami Beach, especially concerning waterfront properties, is the new flavor of the month, giant ultra-modern houses with walls built up to the 35′ limitation and dwarfing homes on either side of them. It is encouraging wealthy homeowners to knock down their house and so on and so on … until we have a continuous wall of ultra-modern houses each trying to outdo each other. First came the mega faux-Mediterranean houses and now come the ersatz modern houses.

The original modern movement pioneered by revered architects such as Philip Johnson, made sure these homes were showcased in the best possible light, i.e. space … they were elegant and magnificent because of the space surrounding them. Where is the design and review board because this fast paced demolition is what is happening. Have they just resigned themselves to rubber-stamping every plan for one of these homes with no consideration as to the surrounding scale or neighborhood? Where are the rules and regulations needed so the quality of life of the residents, who make their home year round on Miami Beach and pay its taxes, are taken into account? We cannot be everything to everybody nor should we be. Our success at the beginning of the South Beach revival was due to preservation. We urge the various boards to stop … take a breath … slow down the rampant demolition and think about the long term goal here. An iconic city stripped of its architectural heritage is doomed to become just another cookie cutter city building whatever is currently showcased in the latest design magazines. What happens when a new flavor comes in? There will not be anything distinguishing Miami Beach from anywhere else and that would be shameful and irresponsible.

Thank you for your time and do the right thing.

Homeowner, Miami Beach

“I totally support your efforts and sorry I am unable to take a more active role. I feel if the Commissioners respect the original intent of the islands they would not permit the oversized, graceless properties to overwhelm the land and islands. It will be a violation of nature, tradition and beauty. There needs to be consideration for the “little guys” living here and not just the moneyed people who are not interested in the “community” but only themselves and their profits. I will be with you and my neighbors in spirit. Good Luck.”

Homeowner, Venetian Island Homeowners Association