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Coral Gables Home Designated Historic – Plans To Demolish Are Denied

August 27th, 2012 Written By

The City of Coral Gables is known for its stringent rules and regulations.  When you are building or renovating a home here you have to be particularly careful that you are in compliance with their code.

Nobody knows that more than a man by the name of Mads Thomsen.  Thomsen purchased the home at 745 Minorca Avenue back in June for $605,000.  The property was built in 1928 and offered 2,563 square feet of living area with a 14,125 square foot lot.  Thomsen bought the property with the intention of demolishing it and building a new home.   Prior to closing he verified that the home had not been designated as historic to ensure that he could legally tear down the home.  A wrench was thrown into his plans after purchasing the home when he submitted his demolition request to the City and they declared the home historic upon review.  A historic home in Coral Gables is protected from demolition.

The City acted in accordance with a 2002 ordinance which requires all requests for demolition to be reviewed by the Coral Gables Historic Preservation Board.  At that point, the Board may decide to add the property to the list of historic properties.  This means that although a home was not previously designated as historic, it could be declared historic at that point.   This is exactly what happened to Mads Thomsen.

The process of renovating a historic home can be painstakingly slow and cost prohibitive.  For example, ANY work that is done to the exterior of a historic home (additions, alterations, modifications) must be reviewed by the Historic Preservation Board.

I understand and strongly agree that we have to protect homes that are of historical, architectural and/or aesthetic significance.  But it is extremely unfortunate for this man who thought he had purchased a “tear-down” and now has a completely different animal on his hands.

With over $30,000,000 in sales volume in 2011, The Riley Smith Group knows real estate.  If you are interested in buying, selling, building or renting and are looking for realtors who specialize in Coral Gables, please feel free to contact us at 305.960.5317 or send us a note here.


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