By Hadassa Kalatizadeh
Developer Michael Shvo, chairman & CEO of SHVO, is on a roll. The Israeli-raised Bar-Ilan University graduate is ready to unveil the LaLanne, a tropical garden art exhibit at his newly owned Raleigh hotel in Miami Beach. The forty-six-year old real-estate pro recently purchased and is developing the iconic hotel at 1775 Collins Avenue, which has been closed since 2017. The event is to take place before the Art Basel Miami Beach, which is a typical move for developers who do their best to impress ahead of the Art Basel, in a bid to lure wealthy prospective buyers.
The exhibit, to be held at the historic hotel, is slated to feature gorilla sculptures by Claude Lalanne and François-Xavier Lalanne, and will be part of Peter Marino’s and Raymond Jungles’ designed gardens.
On October 16th, Mr. Shvo had joined The Real Deal’s Sixth Annual Showcase & Forum in Mana Wynwood in Miami, where more than 3,500 guests attended to enjoy a preview of the gardens. Raymond Jungles also designed that installation as a jungle, using hundreds of real trees and plants. The spotlight of the event was the unveiling of the bronze gorilla sculpture, created by the late French artists Lalanne–a famed husband and wife duo.
As per the Real Deal, Shvo’s move to unveil the art exhibit is strikingly similar to his marketing efforts at the Getty in New York City. In 2013, Shvo and Paul Kasmin Gallery unveiled the Sheep Station, a François-Xavier Lalanne exhibit with 25 epoxy stone and bronze sheep at the former Getty filling station in Chelsea. Shvo, together with Victor Group, developed the old Getty, creating the most expensive new boutique development to hit the West Side of Manhattan. Shvo’s marketing efforts were not for naught. A penthouse at the development fetched a price tag of close to $59 million, being sold to private equity executive Robert F. Smith. The purchase smashed records to mark the priciest deal to close in Downtown Manhattan.
Last summer, Shvo, together with Bilgili Group and Deutsche Finance Group, purchased the 83-room Raleigh Hotel on Collins Avenue from Tommy Hillfiger and Dogus Group for $103 million. The developers also bought two other hotels on the same block, namely the Richmond Hotel and the South Seas Hotel. The partners spent $242.85 million in total to purchase all three hotels, but they have big plans. The developers hope to construct a slender, 200-foot residential tower behind the Richmond and the South Seas. This may be feasible thanks to a new ordinance proposed, in which the Miami Beach City Commission would allow property owners who control at least 115,000 square feet of land to build “ground level additions” up to 200 feet high in the RM-3 zoning district between 16th and 21st streets. The three hotels combined are comprised of 125,000 square feet of land, which would mean Shvo and his partners would qualify, if the ordinance is approved.