Downtown Miami was for decades a blighted area with crumbling parking lots and homeless people blanketing the streets. The area was dead except for a 9-to-5 influx of downtown office workers. It took the developers a long time to glimpse an opportunity.
Today, the script has flipped . South Beach, despite still being one of the most prominent neighborhoods, no longer has enough space for a new construction boom. Attention is now turned to Downtown and the surrounding area. Proof of this is the recently delivered, but still in progress, Miami World Center.
The Miami World Center is a bold, billionaire project that follows the mixed-use trend, merging residential and commercial towers in a single space. Altogether there will be 4 residential condominiums, a Marriott Marquis hotel with 1,700 rooms, a 45-story office building and an area of more than 40 thousand square meters of stores and various establishments. It is one of the largest real estate projects in progress in the United States.
The first large lot destined for the Miami World Center project was acquired in 2003, by entrepreneur Falcone, from developer Art Falcone. The piece of land was bought at an auction promoted by the city. In 2005, developer Nitin Motwani joined Falcone. At the time, everyone thought they were both crazy. It took 10 years and 40 contracts to design the project. Falcone and Motwani remained patient and “cold” throughout the period of the Great Subprime Recession in 2008.
Shortly after the crisis, Miami began to benefit from an aggressive demand for luxury condominiums, especially from foreign investors. Several towers of the highest standard were built between 2010 and 2016. The population of the center increased by almost 40% in the period between 2010 and 2018. New investments oriented to traffic planning and mobility were made. Today the center has another “face” and rivals the noblest and most popular regions of the city. The Miami World Center is the project highlighted in the region and new developments are emerging.
In total, the Downtown Development Authority says there are currently 32,221 condominiums, 16,290 apartments, more than 20,000 hotel rooms, 6.1M SF of office space and 6.1M SF of retail in the development pipeline. (See an interactive map here.)
Families are taking up residence in and around Downtown Miami
Downtown and surrounding neighborhoods, such as Edgewater and Brickell, are also attracting families who want to take up residence. Until recently, living in downtown Miami was unthinkable. Skyscrapers, chaotic traffic and night clubs were not part of the daily life of traditional families. That was, however, the reality a decade ago. Today, a demographic study of the so-called Greater Downtown Miami conducted by the Miami Downtown Development Authority, which uses data from the US Census, shows that the region’s population has been growing aggressively. From 2000 to 2010 there was a record increase of 65%, reaching more than 92 thousand inhabitants. From 2010 to 2018 the growth was 38%. It is estimated that there will be a growth of 19% until 2021, when the population of Downtown would reach the mark of almost 110 thousand people. Just for comparison, the population of downtown Miami-like cities ranges from 27,000 in Atlanta, 50,000 in Dallas and 85,000 in Denver.
Young professionals between the ages of 25 and 44 are the most populous group in downtown Miami, representing 45% of residents. An interesting fact is that the number of children under the age of 14 has grown 53% since 2010, to a current total of 11,484 residents. The number of families in Grande Downtown has increased by 42%.
This transformation also reflects the arrival of the new generation of Millennials, who prefer to raise their families in central urban areas, instead of raising them in the traditional suburbs of American cities.
Entertainment and culture in Downtown
In 2013, the Perez Art Museum Miami, founded by developer Jorge Perez of the Related Group, moved to a new building in Downtown designed by architects Herzog & amp; de Meuron, Pritzker Prize winners. Next door, the Frost Science Museum was opened in 2017. Cranes were everywhere, including the construction of the luxurious condominium One Thousand Museum, designed by the renowned and late architect Zaha Hadid. Even David Beckham led the creation of a team (Inter Miami) and the construction of a new football stadium in the region, which will be completed in 2020.
There has also been progress in public transport. A new train station, Miami Central, has opened just steps from the Miami Worldcenter. Virgin Train has started creating a route that will connect the station to Orlando. Today there is already a Metromover Miami , a free air train to get around Downtown and Brickell . In addition, the center is becoming increasingly pedestrian friendly, with bike paths and motorized scooter routes, among other modes of mobility.
Projects focused on Short-Term Rental
Miami lacked projects aimed at Short-Term Rental, that is, condominiums that allowed the practice of seasonal rentals. The city has traditionally adopted a reluctant stance towards this type of activity, despite the fact that many owners rent their apartments and houses, even though they violate the rules of the city hall.
The idea of adopting strict rules for the practice of short-term rental is to protect residents from the coming and going of tourists, a flow that tends to depreciate the real estate market, if not done in an orderly manner.
In Orlando the practice was allowed and it worked very well. There are specific and well-defined zonings close to the theme parks. In this way, the residential areas are protected, as well as the downtown hotel chains, which do not compete directly.
However, Miami began to lose investors to Mickey’s Land. The behavior of the global investor has changed in recent years. After the Subprime crisis, as we have already mentioned, the appetite of the property buyer was directed towards luxury apartments, where the owner used for holidays and kept locked up for the rest of the year. The new investor now seeks income from the property. He wants to use it on vacation and rent it for the rest of the year. Until then, Miami did not offer projects with this profile.
And once again the Downtown region stands out, creating 3 new developments aimed for Airbnb and Short-Term Rental. The first one, YotelPad Miami, barely started construction and sold out (sold-out) in less than a year. The second project was Natiivo – Powered by Airbnb. This is the first project in the world where the online platform Airbnb enters as a developer. The project has already sold more than 60% of its units in just over a year from launch. And the most recent of these is the Legacy Hotel & amp; Residences, which is part of the Miami World Center project discussed in this article.
Downtown Miami condos for sale
In this article we show some of the main indicators that project Downtown Miami and surroundings as promising regions to invest.
AMG International Realty is a Miami-based real estate agency with offices in Orlando. If you are interested in knowing more about the Florida real estate market, get in touch. It will be a pleasure to talk about investment opportunities in the region.