Real Estate

Miami Billionaire Wants to Demolish Historic Home to Build Dumb Mansion

Moishe Mana at a party during Art Basel Miami Beach 2017.
Moishe Mana at a party during Art Basel Miami Beach 2017. Photo by Romain Maurice / Getty Images for InList
Update: A spokesperson for Mana told New Times that the billionaire is, technically, demolishing the historic home on behalf of a new buyer who will live on the property, rather than for Mana to live there himself.

The property at 420 Hibiscus Dr. — just off the MacArthur Causeway on the 0.1-percenter playground that is Hibiscus Island — was built in 1937. Compared to other Florida buildings, that might as well be the Stone Age: The structure is so old it's been deemed "architecturally significant" by the Miami Beach government.

So, naturally, a billionaire wants to bulldoze the place. According to public filings first published yesterday by the real-estate blog the Next Miami, superdeveloper Moishe Mana — who owns some of the most prominent real estate in town — wants to plow over the existing structure on Hibiscus Drive and build himself an stupidly ornate new home.

According to city records, Mana wants to demolish the historic residence to build some sort of modern, boxy glass monstrosity that, notably, would break local zoning laws. Mana wants his mansion to stretch 28 feet tall — four feet higher than Miami Beach zoning codes allow. His estate would also boast three floors, a bayfront infinity pool, a water-lily pond, a glass atrium, a spa and steam room, a double-height walk-in closet, an escalator, and a goddamn glass elevator.
click to enlarge A design rendering of the proposed new construction. - CITY OF MIAMI BEACH
A design rendering of the proposed new construction.
City of Miami Beach
click to enlarge A design rendering of the proposed new construction. - CITY OF MIAMI BEACH
A design rendering of the proposed new construction.
City of Miami Beach
The existing home, which to 99.9 percent of the planet would look like a palace, is somehow not nice enough for Mana. The house looks like this, according to records submitted to the city:
click to enlarge 420 Hibiscus Dr. in Miami Beach. - CITY OF MIAMI BEACH
420 Hibiscus Dr. in Miami Beach.
City of Miami Beach
Mana emigrated from Israel to the New York area, got rich by founding a shipping company, and now is debatably one of the three or four most prominent landowners in all of Miami. He owns vast tracts of the Wynwood neighborhood and plans to destroy everything cool there build a gigantic "microcity" and office park designed to attract Latin American and Asian businesspeople.


Mana is also now buying up large tracts of land in Miami's rapidly gentrifying downtown. He seemingly cannot be stopped. In the past few years alone, Wynwood officials have blasted him for using "bait-and-switch" negotiating tactics with city board members, and he's even been sued by a local contractor who said Mana had stiffed him out of $500,000 and was using "Trump tactics" to avoid paying the money. (The case was eventually settled out of court in 2017.) But God forbid a billionaire live in a substandard palace!
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Jerry Iannelli is a former staff writer for Miami New Times from 2015 to March 2020. He graduated with honors from Temple University. He then earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.