RH Bids on Nikki Beach


RH, formerly known as Restoration Hardware, is one of the four bidders looking to redevelop the city of Miami Beach-owned site that is home to Nikki Beach Club. 

The high-end home furnishings retailer revealed details of its proposal for the waterfront site at 1 Ocean Drive ahead of a public meeting this coming Monday. 

RH is competing with Tao Group Hospitality; Akerman and The Group US Managemen; and Boucher Brothers — the latter of which controls beach concessions in the city. The current operators, Jack and Lucia Penrod, were blocked from bidding on the site after they missed the deadline by 15 minutes. (The Penrods are, obviously, seeking a court order to reverse the city’s decision.) 

RH plans to invest up to $170 million in the restaurant and entertainment venue if it secures the 30-year lease. The company, led by CEO Gary Friedman (read a colorful story about him here), would offer the city a starting base rent of $7 million.

In addition to a public park and sculpture garden, the project would include a beach club, a bathhouse and spa, three food and beverage venues, a design studio, a library and art galleries. 

RH’s proposal wasn’t the only one to be unveiled this week in South Beach. Nearby on Ocean Drive, Clevelander Hotel owner Jesta Group said it plans to redevelop the historic Art Deco property into… affordable housing. 

Jesta didn’t share too many details (including whether the structures will remain), but it’s looking to take advantage of zoning incentives that the state’s new affordable housing law provides. The Live Local Act trumps local control of density and height requirements. Jesta said it would set aside 40 percent of the planned residential units for affordable housing. The remaining units would likely be luxury condos. 

What we’re thinking about: Will we see a rush of developers try to knock down historic properties using the Live Local Act? Send me a note at


Residential: Sports investor Gerry Cardinale paid $20 million for his next-door neighbor’s house at 960 North Ocean Boulevard in Palm Beach. Kathleen Belznak, the widow of New Jersey real estate developer Alan Belznak, sold the 4,500-square-foot, five-bedroom teardown. 

Commercial: Calmwater Capital acquired the Banyan Cay Resort & Golf Club, an unfinished mixed-use development at 200 Banyan Way in West Palm Beach. Calmwater was the largest creditor in Banyan Cay’s bankruptcy and acquired the property through a $94.1 million credit bid. 

— Research by Adam Farence 

Oceana Bal Harbour (Arquitectonica)


A two-story penthouse at Oceana Bal Harbour hit the market for $62 million. The nearly 9,000-square-foot condo with six bedrooms, eight bathrooms and two half-bathrooms also includes a 7,000-square-foot rooftop terrace. Chris Carlos, a partner at his family’s alcohol distributor, Republic National Distributing Company, paid $25 million for the penthouse when the development was completed in 2017. Kimberly Rodstein of Keller Williams has the listing. 

A thing we’ve learned 

Carl Fisher (of Fisher Island) was a former bicycle racer before he became a developer. He also chain-smoked cigars and would chew off their butts and swallow them. The more you know?

Elsewhere in Florida 

  • Miami-Dade County’s school board voted to not recognize October as LGBTQ+ History Month for the second year in a row, at an hours-long meeting last week where more than 100 people signed up to speak. Chair Mari Tere Rojas, Vice Chair Danny Espino, Roberto Alonso, Mary Blanco and Monica Colucci voted against the recognition; members Lucia Baez-Geller, Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall and Luisa Santos voted in favor, according to the Miami Herald
  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is being sued by Monique Worrell, the former Orange-Osceola state attorney who DeSantis had removed from office. Worrell is asking the Florida Supreme Court to reverse the order, alleging the governor leveled vague allegations against her and failed to identify conduct that supported those allegations, the Orlando Sentinel reports. 
  • As hurricanes, wildfires and other natural disasters increase in frequency and intensity, businesses reliant on tourism view extreme weather as their major long-term challenge, replacing the pandemic
  • It’s not just tourism that’s being affected by hurricanes. As many as 5 million chickens died from Hurricane Idalia, the Category 3 storm that hit Florida in late August.
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