The historic Deauville Beach Resort on Miami Beach could soon be history. The building has been closed since 2017 and is now in such bad shape, an engineering report found the building to be “unsafe” and beyond repair.
However, Miami Beach city commissioners hope to press pause on the demolition process, wanting to get an independent review first.
“I am not ready to commit, at this moment in time, that the entire building should be immediately demolished,” said Commissioner Mark Samuelian.
The commissioners fought Thursday to save the iconic resort located in the historic North Beach district.
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“If I stop what's happening now, then how am I different from what happened in Champlain?” said the city’s building official Ana M. Salgueiro. “And you tell me don’t look at that, but I have to look at what's happened also.”
The city’s building official has already declared a demolition order after carefully reviewing a structural report from an engineering company hired by the property owners.
The report determined the building was “unsafe” and “cannot be saved due to structural defects.”
“Unfortunately we’ve been thwarted on every effort to date,” said Deputy City Manager Eric Carpenter. “And unfortunately this is the outcome of not having a willing partner on the property owner side.”
The historic building has been closed since 2017 after an electrical fire and Hurricane Irma.
The city has taken a lot of action over the years, including suing the property owners to maintain the building.
“Our city has been in white-knuckle litigation with the owners of the Deauville for years, trying to stop what they’ve been doing, which is neglecting the property to the point where a building official says it needs to be demolished,” said Mayor Dan Gelber. “It’s not an outcome any of us wanted.”
City commissioners voted unanimously Thursday for the city to do conduct its own engineering review of the property to determine whether anything can be preserved or restored.
“The only detailed report is something hired by the applicant that wants to demolish the building,” Samuelian said. “I want an independent report with qualified expertise in restoration under the auspices of the city and specifically our inspector general.”
However, getting that report will likely depend on whether the property owners grant the necessary access to the building.
The city has said that this would be a demotion by neglect and could be subject to be rebuilt to like very similar to the way it does now.
NBC 6 reached out to an attorney for the property owners and is awaiting comment.