Bugle Miami

Miami Beach investor to convert former Banana Republic store into mansion hotel

Miami Beach investor Greg Mirmelli bought the former Banana Republic building on Collins Avenue, with plans to convert the property into a mansion hotel, The Real Deal has learned.

Mirmelli paid $4.5 million for the 10,026-square-foot building, he said. Property records show the seller is 800 Collins Ave LLC, led by Sam Herzberg. Herzberg’s entity paid $9.7 million for the building in 2011.

Mirmelli said he is looking to capitalize on the rush of billionaires who have recently moved to Miami Beach and nearby towns. The proposed mansion hotel would be rented as a villa for $15,000 to $20,000 per night, Mirmelli said. It would have about eight bedrooms, an indoor swimming pool, spa, movie theater that doubles as a nightclub, a lobby, and possibly a rooftop sundeck and pool.

Mirmelli said that the conversion is an example of what’s to come for existing vacant retail. Banana Republic also closed its Lincoln Road store in Miami Beach.

“If you go down that street, it’s really sad. Retail is dead,” he said, referring to Collins Avenue’s retail strip. “With the changing environment and retail I think going the high-end luxury residential [route] is the right change of use.”

He recently met with architect Kobi Karp to design the project. Plans have yet to be submitted to the city.

The Art Deco building, on the corner of Eighth Street and Collins Avenue, was built in 1934 and expanded in 1996. Mirmelli plans to work with luxury furnishings brands, including Italkraft, to renovate and modernize the interiors. Each bedroom could be furnished by a different designer, like Fendi and Versace.

Mirmelli is an investor who focuses on Miami Beach. He recently paid $5.9 million for a condo at Murano at Portofino.

In October, Mirmelli sold a waterfront house on the beach for $18 million, following a bidding war. In 2019, he was sued by a rental tenant seeking $57,000 in rent reimbursement on the property. The case was later dismissed.

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