A partnership between Avra Jain and Dragonfly Investments, called Gold Dust 7700 LLC, just purchased a motel in the MiMo District – not far away from the Vagabond Hotel, also owned by Jain. Property records show they paid $6 million for Motel Blu at 7700 Biscayne Boulevard, a two-story, 60-unit building next to the cabaret nightclub Gold Rush. The deal breaks down to $100,000 per room.
Jain wrote that she and Dragonfly planned to enhance and renovate the hotel, and to modernize its name: Gold Dust. The partners financed the acquisition with a $5.5 million dollar loan from Continental Bank. Jain has been credited with leading new investment and preservation in the MiMo District, where she also restored the Vagabond Hotel and South Pacific Motel.
Jain says she was attracted to the aesthetics of the neighborhood and the historical designation many buildings have. Unlike many developers, she considers her local environment thoughtfully when investing to avoid disrupting residents who want to preserve the residential sentiment of their community.
"Sense of place is created by the people there, not the developers, so it's developers' responsibility to keep the placemakers around. I’m really sensitive to that," she says. Her restoration plans aim to improve existing structures, instead of capitalizing on a higher-density project. Despite the opinion of many residents that the city favors developers, many attempts of going vertical have not approved in MiMo.
MiMo refers to Miami Modern Architecture, a local style of architecture that advanced in South Florida throughout the post-war period. It is known as a playful response to the international architectural movements, that embraced the climate and booming resort industry in Miami at the time. MiMo’s themes of glamour, fun, and material excess can be observed in the Design District, Miami Beach, and Biscayne Boulevard.
Article by: Katya Demina & Stephanie Warren