Urban Exploration

Inside The Abandoned Hooters Restaurant At Cocowalk

Hooters Restaurant at Cocowalk

Hooters Restaurant at Cocowalk

As the Eastern portion of Cocowalk began demolition last week to make way for the new 5 story office, One Cocowalk, interior demolition began months before on the Duffy's Sports Grill on the second floor and eventually the Hooters Restaurant on the third floor.

Opening in 2008, Hooters eventually closed in 2012 and sat empty until now.



Inside The Abandoned El Eden Motel In Brickell

 A Room at the El Eden Motel

 A Room at the El Eden Motel

After being purchased for $18.4 million in January 2017, demolition has now started on the two story El Eden Motel in Brickell.

The El Eden Motel was originally built in 1976 and then expanded in 1990 with the purchase of the North end of the lot for $390,000. 

With 53 rooms, all of the rooms had large mirrors over and in front of the beds. Some rooms even had all the walls and ceilings covered in mirrors. 

Once the motel is completely demolished, a 24 story hotel with 263 rooms will rise, with construction expected to start first quarter 2018. The project will be developed by Tony Cho of Metro 1 and Robert Finvarb of Finvarb Companies. 

The Starlite Motel next door, which sold for $25 million in December 2014 remains open.

Inside The Abandoned Apartments At The Broadstone Brickell Site

Abandoned Apartment in West Brickell

Before construction began at the Broadstone Brickell site, an apartment complex sat abandoned for almost a year before they were torn down recently. 

When the residents vacated, they left behind many belongings, including couches, T.V.'s and clothing. 

Eventually the whole complex was boarded up before the apartments could be vandalized. 

Brickell Tennis Club Demolition At Night

Brickell Tennis Club at Night

Brickell Tennis Club at Night

Previously, we showed what the Brickell Tennis Club looked like under demolition during the day. Now, here are photos of what  it looked like at night. 

The Tennis Club was surrounded by the condos of Brickell and had an incredible view of the Miami Tower and Brickell World Plaza lit up at night.

The Tennis Club was torn down to make way for Swire Properties' Brickell City Centre, which is currently under construction.

Apartments Torn Down To Make Way For Walgreens

Site Of A Walgreens Brickell

Site Of A Walgreens Brickell

Walgreens bought two lots to build a futuristic store and on that first lot was an abandoned car wash that sat empty since 2006. The second lot had a two story low income apartment building that is directly across from Chetrit Group's new Miami Riverwalk. 

Demolition was just completed on the car wash and Walgreens just recently knocked down the apartment building. Construction should begin on the new Walgreens in the next few months.

Below are photos of the apartment building that was on the site.

Inside the Abandoned Brickell Car Wash Concept

The Car Wash Conveyor Belt

The Car Wash Conveyor Belt

While workers clear out the site to build a Walgreens in Brickell, the lot was previously used as a car wash, called the Car Wash Concept. 

Located at 250 SW 7th St., the car wash was built and opened in 1999. For seven years the car wash was functioning and operating before it was finally closed in June 2006. When you walked around the building, all the calendars were open on June 2006 and it felt as if you were back in time. Surprisingly, despite sitting empty for so long, many vandals and graffiti artist were not in the building. There were many cobwebs and a lot of the stuff looked as if it was untouched since they left it in 2006. 

Walgreens purchased the lot this year and exactly eight years since it closed, the building was torn down in June 2014. 

Below are photos and a video of the building.

Inside the Abandoned Grand Bay Hotel Coconut Grove

The Abandoned Grand Bay Hotel Coconut Grove

The Abandoned Grand Bay Hotel Coconut Grove

When driving along Bayshore Drive into Coconut Grove, there was no mistaking the Grand Bay Hotel. Resembling a Mayan pyramid with stepping stairs and bougainvillea's hanging from the balconies, every hotel room had a view of Biscayne Bay. The outside of the hotel had a large red sculpture by Alexander Liberman called "Windward."

Built in 1982, the hotel was designed by Nichols & Associates and developed by Sherwood "Woody" Weiser. The Grand Bay Hotel was the place to see and be seen for many years. It was the only hotel South of Palm Beach to receive a Mobil five star rating, which it received in 1987. The hotel represented everything that was glamorous and luxurious in Miami in the 1980's. Michael Jackson stayed at the hotel in 1984 before his Orange Bowl concert and occupied the top two floors. Celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor, Prince and Sophia Loren have all stayed at the hotel.

The Grand Cafe restaurant was located on the second floor, while the world famous Regine's Nightclub occupied the penthouse level where there were sweeping views of Biscayne Bay. Regine's had a separate elevator from the rest of the hotel to enter the nightclub. Supposedly, the nightclub was decorated in an 1930's Art Deco flair with mirrored ceilings. 

However, over time the hotel began to lose its luster after changing the name to Wyndham Grand Bay in 1999, which caused it to drop to a four star rating. It then fell to three stars in 2001 when more luxurious hotels started to open on South Beach. 

The developers Merco Group bought the hotel for $25 million in 2005 with plans to spend about $20 million in renovations and restore it to the status it once had in the 1980's. They closed the doors in April 2008 and had completed about six months of work before the recession hit. The Merco Group had a foreclosure suit filed against them and in March 2011 the bank took the property. 

Since that time, mold had taken over the place with the hotel being trashed and covered with graffiti. Supposedly homeless people where living in the lobby and starting fires to keep warm. 

The Terra Group bought the hotel for $24 million and are currently building the Grove at Grand Bay at the site of the old Grand Bay Hotel. They are building two residential twenty story twisting towers. 

Demolition of the Grand Bay Hotel started in December 2012.


Before & After Photos

Outside the Hotel

Hotel Rooms

Regine's Nightclub

Lobby, Grand Cafe Restaurant & Ballroom  

Demolition Photos

Demolition of the Hotel

John Travolta Movie "Chains of Gold" Where He Slides Down the Hotel Into the Pool