Miami Beach homes face teardown or preservation

In Miami Beach, homes face teardown frenzy or preservationist zeal - 12/22/2012 | " . . . Shuffield said that since January, a little more than 10 percent of Miami Beach homes sales have been single-family homes. That’s 243 dwellings, out of which 119 were built before 1945. Shuffield said the buyers who purchased those are often Europeans interested in second homes. He said speculators are once again looking at homes, but few are purchasing right now. “Single-family homes on the Beach have become collector’s items because there are just so few of them now,” he said, doubting that stronger preservation laws would have any impact on the market. But with nearly 2,500 pre-1942 homes left on Miami Beach, that leaves a lot of room for friction with homeowners if the Miami Design Preservation League aggressively pursues its new agenda. Kinerk, the league official, said one of founder Barbara Baer Capitman’s last directives before dying in 1990 was that the league should focus on preserving single-family homes. He said that while cities like Coral Gables have crafted laws to do so, so far Miami Beach has failed. “We have failed Barbara’s directive so far,” he said. “It’s embarrassing.” Kinerk said the league will act quickly to try and designate residential homes historic in order to try and avoid after-the-fact fights like the ongoing battle with the Hochsteins. He said an important home worth saving should be protected regardless.“When should we act?” he asked. “When they’re all gone?”


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