MiMo Motel Adaptive Reuse: The Vagabond Motel

Image: Vagabond Motel with Transit Shop clothing store (right side)

With the Mimo designation now intended to preserve the strip of funky motels along Biscayne Boulevard, the potential of adaptive reuse has been brought to question. It has been reported that motel owners are getting innovative with their properties. The motel use has become incompatible with development/economic conditions on the ground. Increasingly, restaurants and new businesses are popping up in and around the Boulevard along the Mimo corridor. Not long ago, it was discussed here that retail may be one of the likely reuses–following in the track of the Collins Avenue shopping district where Art Deco apartment complexes and hotels have been transformed into retail stores. On 74th street and Biscayne Boulevard there is what may be one of the first examples of reuse in the form of retail with the Vagabond Motel.

Image: Transit Shop clothing store. It is so out of place that it almost looks like a mock-up of what a store could be like in the area.

Image: What appears to be the leasing office/sales center, or main entrance

Image: Vagabond Motel Parking

This type of reuse is expected to continue as a pattern along Biscayne Boulevard. The Vagabond Motel example serves to demystify the notion of converting motels into anything but outposts of sleaze and vice.

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11 Comments

Filed under BoB Articles, MiMo District

11 responses to “MiMo Motel Adaptive Reuse: The Vagabond Motel

  1. Brad

    I think its important to preserve this unique architecture, so I like the idea of converting these motels into other uses. Some other possible ideas: nightclubs, restaurants, or maybe even residential. Don’t know if it makes since from an economic perspective considering the extensive renovations but sure could be interesting.

    Miami can’t do lofts in19th century factories/warehouses like other cities, so why not do lofts in seedy 1950’s motels?

  2. Not only is it important, but I think it’ll make for a really cool neighborhood. I think every use you’ve mentioned will be seen in the District eventually. Each idea makes sense in its own right. I think the residential will be the last incorporated just because it’s a hard sell through a marketing perspective unless the area is abuzz with activity.

  3. When you look at that wide-open parking lot, you know that developers are licking their chops at the thought of what they could put there. The words “tall,” “square,” “dense” and “floor-area-ratio” immediately come to mind.

    The current real estate bust might just be the best thing that could have happened to us.

    I haven’t been by there in a while –is that cool Vagabond sign still intact?

  4. Joe, the lot is ideal for an expansion, but not sure of the area is conducive to such an expanded development yet–regardless for the use. Doing so would be a pioneering effort. The Vagabond is still intact.

    • You’re question is so vague.Try doing some rearsech on The Hamptons.The hamptons consists of a bunch of small towns like South Hampton, East Hamptons, South Hampstons, Bridge Hampton, and I think North Hampton.South Hampton is where all the riches people in the country live and that is usually where the really nice hotels are at.East Hampton is kinda like a middle class town with some lower end parts (some people live in small houses in the woods) and those are kinda your average hotels.If you want some beach time, rent a house on the beach or go to a hotel with a beach. Almost all of the beaches in the Hamptons are private clubs.

    • I read your post and wished I was good enough to write it

  5. Gloria Stacholy

    My father is the artist who made the nymphs in the shell and porpoises. His name was Juan Stacholy. He was one of the most talented artists of his time, working for the Jackie Gleason show as a set designer, and installing numerous artistic details to many of the hotel facades on Miami Beach. I saw an article recently about the fight to preserve the hotel and took my mother to see the sculpting 2 weeks ago. We were trying to figure out how to get the sculpting and what to do with it if we did! Being a native Miamian, I have seen the place go up and down. There are so many new hip, hot little spots springing up in the immediate area, I think it’s just a matter of time for the area to come back. Please try and conserve our City! The design district has jump started the area, I’m sure it will spread up the street!!

  6. Teri D'Amico

    I am the person responisbile for the designation of the Vagabond, the current owner has not kept up the property, I wold LOVE to hear more about you father, please contact me.
    email teri@dadausa.com, or 305 527-5455.
    I love the Vagabond on would like to hear more.
    Teri

  7. The Vagabond now has a site which is saying its going to re-open in early 2014. Anyone w/ any up to date info?

  8. Its not my first time to go to see this site, i am browsing this web page dailly and take nice data from here daily.

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