Food News

Developer Avra Jain Purchases Miami River Inn, Reopens Magnum

Developer Avra Jain and the Vagabond Group have just inked a deal to purchase the Miami River Inn, an historic 38-room property on the south side of the Miami River.

According to real-estate site the Real Deal, the Vagabond Group purchased the property and its 1.5 acres for $8.6 million from Miami River Holdings. The sellers purchased the inn, located at 437 SW Second St., for $4.2 million in July 2013. Prior to that transaction, the property was purchased for $95,000 in 1985.

According to the hotel's website, the property has 38 rooms and apartments, with rates starting at $77 per night. The hotel, which has been a working bed and breakfast since 1910, was also listed as one of the Huffington Post's nine most haunted places in Miami. The intimate hotel is part of the South River Drive Historic District.

Jain confirmed the purchase, saying, "We are very focused on getting the older building into better condition. They need a lot of love." She did not elaborate on final plans for the property, though Aztec Group's Jason Katz told the Real Deal that the property has the potential to "be something like the Vagabond, with a food-and-beverage component." Aztec Group is a Miami-based investment firm that represented Vagabond Group in the transaction. 

The neighborhood, which flanks the Miami River, is ripe for development, with the multi-use River Landing leading the way. The project, located at 1400 NW North River Dr., will consist of 2 million square feet of retail and residences on 8.14 acres along the Miami River. Once complete, the $300 million project will consist of 475 luxury apartments, 2,200 parking spaces, green space, a 1,500-square-foot linear park, retail shops, and restaurants. Eateries such as Seaspice, American Social, and Casablanca already call the Miami River home, and London's Duck & Waffle and SushiSamba are slated to open along its banks.

Jain, who is best known for her revival of the Vagabond Hotel on Biscayne Boulevard, also purchased Magnum Restaurant & Lounge in August. The beloved piano bar recently reopened after it closed in September for renovations. According to Jain, her team "did a big clean and restoration" before recently throwing open the doors to a loyal following. Last Saturday's disco night was packed with patrons drinking cocktails and singing. 

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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss

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