Kobi Karp, one of South Florida's most prolific architects, is trying to build his dream house, according to plans that Kobi has submitted to the City of Miami Beach. Says Kobi, with a couple of teenage kids, his family has grown out of its smallish, 3000-something square foot 1930's Russell Pancoast-designed, historical and cute but not particularly sensational, house on Sunset Island 3, and are in need of a bigger home base. And boy, at 9,111 square feet, is the new house bigger, with twelve foot ceilings, six bedrooms (seven if you consider the maid's room), a maid's room, a regular kitchen and a butler's kitchen, a media room, two pool cabanas, a hot tub, an elevator, a two-story living room, a three-story grand staircase, a roof deck, a master suite with two massive terraces, and oodles upon oodles of closet space.
So, what's the conclusion here? Well, it's really complicated. Kobi Karp has a mixed record on historic preservation. On one hand, he's preserved many old South Florida buildings, but on the other hand he's designed projects that completely replaced others, and he's found himself on the demolition side of at least a few high-profile preservation controversies, like the Real Housewife/Boob Doc/42 Star Island Saga. So, it's interesting to see what side of the line he falls on (that would be the demolition side) when designing for himself and not a client. But on the other hand, the existing house he wants to demolish, although historic, is kind of 'meh.' It's certainly no 42 Star island Drive. Plus he has lived there for over ten years, and preserved it since then.
Karp loves his neighborhood, but says he cannot move to a bigger place in the neighborhood because he's been priced out of buying any new property there because prices are a bajillion gazillion times higher than what they were when he bought his house in the 90s for less than a million dollars. The property taxes on a new place would be wayyyy higher than what he's paying now. Plus architects don't make that much money, right?
Well... no, most architects don't make that much money, and we don't know Kobi's private finances, but just look at this new place. It's as big as the houses he designs for many of his extremely wealthy clients. Look at the size of his wife Nancy's closet, and look at all the other stuff in that house. How many architects can afford that many clothes??? Whether or not Kobi is making a smart move by trying to replace his small old house with a big new one (the operative word being 'trying.' With Mayor Matti's proposed moratorium, that's no sure thing) it's blatantly obvious that, despite the recession, it's very good to be Kobi Karp right now.
· All Kobi Karp coverage [Curbed Miami]