Miami Modernism (MiMo) is an architectural style that took shape in the mid-twentieth century. It’s the prevailing form of architecture in the behemoth hotels of Mid (Miami) Beach along Collins Avenue from 41st north–Fontainebleau and Eden Roc among them.
On Biscayne Boulevard, north of the Design District where Morningside begins, there’s a stretch of MiMo motels that represent one of the City of Miami’s only adaptive re-use districts. Touted the Biscayne Boulevard Historic District. Here, motels are ripe for conversion into any retail use under the sun. I’ve had my eye on this quirky urban stretch for some time. Let’s take a look:
The Vagabond Motel was one of the area’s first forays into adaptive re-use. It failed. That’s not to say that idea was bad. When it was open, Biscayne Blvd went under construction and it dragged and dragged and dragged Transit Shop into shit.
UVA69 (now simply known as Uvas) has proven to be resilient. This self-described Barcelonan bistro has garnered a loyal following. It’s an adaptive re-use success story—motel/apt complex turned restaurant. and, the trend is growing.
There’s a new player on the block, Daniel Serfer; chef and owner of Blue Collar—occupying a portion of the Biscayne Inn. I’ll be swinging by soon. Think I’ll give their T-bone steak a shot.
The Shalimar Motel was somewhat restored and has well-situated restaurant frontage available for lease.
The MiMo trappings of this hood make for some fresh retail possibilities. Already the area’s got a generous selection of good eats. Here are just a few: