May 14, 2013
The iconic but aging Vagabond Motel, a signature feature of historic Biscayne Boulevard, is due for an unprecedented makeover. Developer and noted preservationist Avra Jain has led an extensive restoration project that promises to restore the historic building to its former glory. Based on several renderings provided by real estate website Curbed Miami, it’s unlike to disappoint. Among the planned features are the following:
1. The former lobby area will become the restaurant, with a sunken bar area in the center.
2. Leading out from the restaurant, outdoor dining and deck games will take up the rear of the central motor court. The area of the motor court closer to Biscayne will then become a circular drive with drop off area, a few parking spaces, a central fountain, and the motel’s elaborate neon signage, which will be moved from the top of the decorative stone pylon to its historic location in the motor court.
3. To the north, one of the original motel rooms will become a cute little lobby opening in both directions, to give access to the Royal Motel next door, which Avra also owns. Another room or two will then become meeting space. These areas will open out to the deck games space, thus linking to the all the new public areas of the motel together.
4. Just to the rear of all this fun is the pool, with its mermaid and dolphin mosaics, which Ms. Jain has partially unearthed so far, and appear to be in remarkably good shape. The pool deck will have a pool bar where one historically stood. There is also a little stage area, maybe for a rockin’ pool party, which Avra hopes to rehabilitate as well, although contemporary pool deck safety considerations which didn’t exist in the Vagabond’s day may muck it up.
5. The rooms will be restored, of course, and interior designs, which are still under wraps, look fabulous.
6. Parking will be along the sides and rear perimeter, where it was historically located. A decorative rear gate will be the entrance from the parking area, and probably also somewhat of a ‘locals entrance,’ perfect for neighbors to slip in and out for a drink or maybe a clandestine dip in the pool.
So far, the motel’s buried pool is undergoing excavation (and will likely be preserved but upgraded), while both the structure and its surrounding lots are being cleared of debris. Plans call for the groundbreaking to begin in June, while there’s no word yet on a scheduled completion date. Needless to say, it will be worth the wait.
The soon-to-be rejuvenated Vagabond Motel is just one of the many iconic and unique buildings that characterize Miami Real Estate. To learn more about this and other amazing Miami Properties, contact Metro 1 Properties at 305-571-9991.