The elegant and exclusive island of Sunny Isles Beach, north of Miami, has a few nicknames. The most popular is “Florida Riviera”, because of its beautiful beaches. Recently, another nickname has been gaining prominence in the media: Little Moscow. The expression has been used to refer to the region for decades, due to the large presence of Russian millionaires in the region. Recently the nickname gained strength with the War in Ukraine. Understand in this article the story behind the nickname and why Sunny Isles is the darling, not only of Russians, but of international investors from all corners of the world.
Don’t Call It “Little Moscow”
“The ratio of Russians to the total population in SIB [Sunny Isles Beach] is not big enough to call it Little Moscow,” wrote Jennifer Levin, who was once part of the City Commission for Sunny Isles Beach, in her profile on Facebook “Just.Stop.It”, continues. The message gained notoriety after being released in a recent article published in the Miami New Times, which shows Jennifer’s indignation at the nickname.
In fact, Sunny Isles Beach is much more than Russian millionaires. The island brings global investors from around the world. Another nationality with a strong presence on the island is Brazilian. Sunny Isles is next to the favorite neighborhood of Brazilians and Latin Americans: Aventura. The island also borders Bal Harbour, another upscale neighborhood in the city and home to the famous Bal Harbor Shops, also a favorite among Brazilians.
The island is multicultural. In addition to Russians and Brazilians, there are also Venezuelans, Ecuadorians, Arabs, Argentines, among other nationalities. Sunny Isles keeps making headlines. Lionel Messi recently sold one of his apartments in the community. The football star bought units in the two most luxurious condominiums in the region: Porsche Design Tower and Regalia Miami.
“Persecution” (sanctions) of Russian millionaires
In this way, calling Sunny Isles Little Moscow is, in fact, unfair. But with the war in Ukraine and President Biden’s “persecution” of Russian millionaires in the US, it’s clear that the island would again make headlines.
Joe Biden wants to target Russian millionaires around the world by creating sanctions and, in this way, hopes to discourage Russian advances in Ukraine. The sanctions created so far target not only Russian oligarchs and senior Kremlin officials, but also their families. The idea is to prevent the assets of these individuals and companies from being protected through family connections, offshore bank accounts and luxury real estate.
By creating barriers in transactions related to real estate, some regions in the world began to gain prominence in the media. Sunny Isles Beach is one of them. The nickname “Little Moscow”, however, exists for other regions of the US and the world. All with some significant presence of Russian residents or investors.
It is uncertain whether this type of barrier in the real estate sector has any effect. In the case of Miami, for example, many properties are purchased through companies or corporate structures that make it difficult to find the owner. Not that these structures are illegal. On the contrary, it is recommended that the purchase of a property by a foreigner is made through a legal entity. The idea is to avoid the applicability of the very high inheritance tax for foreigners, which is 40% of the value of the property.
Miami has traditionally been a multicultural city and a global hub. The Latino presence in the region is very strong. In addition to “Little Moscow” the city also has the neighborhood of “Little Havana” and “Little Haiti”. Canadians and Europeans also flock to the region for the year-round warm weather and beautiful beaches. Miami is, therefore, a multicultural cradle characterized by inclusion and modernity. No wonder it is one of the most sought after destinations by global investors.
Interested in Sunny Isles Beach (“Little Moscow”) real estate opportunities?
AMG International Realty is a global real estate company specialized in Florida. If you want to know more about real estate opportunities in Sunny Isles Beach or another neighborhood in Miami, contact me right now and chat with me on WhatsApp: +1 (305) 318 6968 (Heloisa Arazi).