It’s official: Miami is having a moment.
A record number of residents are moving in. Companies are expanding here. Tourists are coming back. And all signs indicate these trends are intensifying.
And although the pandemic has put an undeniable strain on our community and economy, through it all, Miami has kept on moving. We’ve captured 12 signs of change in the Magic City – places, trends, and events which have come to life over the past year and are defining the New Miami.
Good Times Return to the Tourism Market
Although hospitality took a hit during the pandemic, the vaccine roll-out – coupled with the allure of Miami’s surf and sunshine – have sped up the tourism industry’s comeback. Miami hotels have boasted some of the country’s highest occupancy levels this spring, and a spate of new hotel openings are in the works. Look no further than the new, celebrity-endorsed Goodtime Hotel co-owned by David Grutman and Pharrel Williams. Opening night was a smash for the South Beach hotel, drawing in guests like Kim Kardashian, Beyonce, The Beckhams, and Maluma. The future of Miami’s hospitality scene looks bright as luxury brands like Aman, Bulgari and Waldorf Astoria plant their flag in the Magic City.
Miami’s Coconut Grove has seen an incredible resurgence over the past year, led by the opening of the newly reimagined CocoWalk – an al fresco retail and entertainment destination in the heart of the Grove. This picturesque lifestyle center has captured the hearts of locals, with beloved local brands like Mister 01 Extraordinary Pizza, trendy national concepts such as Salt & Straw and Sweetgreen, and soon to open hotspots Botanico Gin & Cookhouse and Sushi Garage. If you’re still picturing the CocoWalk of yesteryear – and getting flashbacks of happy hour at Fat Tuesdays – then it’s time to rediscover the Grove’s commercial anchor.
Miami Worldcenter Rises
One of Miami’s landmark developments, Miami Worldcenter continues to take shape in the heart of the city’s urban core. In fact, if you haven’t been to the area in over a year, you might not recognize it. Occupying 27 acres, this city-within-a-city is the largest privately-built urban development underway in the U.S. Miami Worldcenter has seen a number of components come to life in the past year and will soon feature a host of residential options along with 300,000 square feet of retail, restaurant, and entertainment.
The Underline Miami
The Underline’s much anticipated first section finally opened in Brickell. Solidifying their title as Brickell’s backyard, the opening brought in DWNTWNRs and visitors from Miami to enjoy the park in droves. From strolling and jogging to cycling, hooping and dog walking, guests have been enjoying the half-mile of greenery and urban gym multi-use court. Read more about the Underline via the Miami Herald.
Business Migration Fuels Office Leasing
According to reports, new-to-market tenants are currently pursuing 1.5 million square feet of Class A office space in Miami-Dade County, which is more than double what the market sees in a typical year. With tech companies announcing plans to move and expand into Miami weekly and the Brickell Financial District cementing its position as “Wall Street of the South,” office developers are racing to keep pace. Case in point: the team behind 830 Brickell, the first stand-alone class A office to be developed in Brickell in over a decade, recently landed private equity firm Thoma Bravo and is in talks with additional tenants accounting for more than 300,000 square feet of space.
From Manhattan to Miami: Restaurants Make Their Move
It stands to reason that as companies and residents migrate from the northeast to South Florida, their favorite restaurants are following close behind, reports the Wall Street Journal. Over the past year, numerous New York-based establishments have opened satellite locations in the Magic City. Some New York based hospitality groups have even debuted new, only-in-Miami concepts. Restaurants like Carbone, Tacombi, Shelter, COTE, Pastis, Prince Street Pizza, Osteria Morini, and ZZ’s Sushi Bar have all followed their clientele to Miami, turning the Magic City into a whole new kind of delicious.
Miami’s Condo Market Revving Up Again
Miami’s high-end condo market is – for the first time in 30 years – being driven almost entirely by U.S. buyers planting roots in South Florida. Bolstering this sales activity are capital sources looking to put their funding behind worthy projects, prompting the city’s major developers to launch new projects. Case in point: Sales have exceeded $185 million since January 2021 at Miami’s Missoni Baia and Una Residences towers – two luxury condos being developed by OKO Group in partnership with Cain International. Buoyed by domestic wealth migration, pent-up demand among foreigners, and the return of liquidity for well-positioned projects, the biggest names in Miami’s condo market are launching new projects which will mark the next phase of development in South Florida – including Terra and GFO Investments, which recently announced plans for Five Park in Miami Beach; a joint venture between Ugo Colombo’s CMC Group and Valerio Morabito’s Morabito Properties, which is behind boutique condo ONDA in Bay Harbor Islands; and OKO Group, which won approval for an Aman-branded tower in Miami Beach earlier this year.
For the first time since its inception, the AmericanAirlines Arena, home of the Miami Heat, will have a new name: the FTX Arena. This $135M partnership will create instant brand exposure for the cryptocurrency exchange platform, which only began US operations in 2020. The arena’s renaming and Miami-Dade County’s 19-year partnership with FTX will be a high profile symbol of Miami’s emergence as a global tech and finance hub.
Downtown Miami Emerges as a Tech & Finance Hub
Long viewed as being dominated by real estate and tourism, Downtown Miami has undertaken a decade-long effort to attract hedge funds and tech companies capable of diversifying the district’s economy and attracting high-wage jobs. What began as a trickle of businesses ten years ago has grown into a deluge, with new companies announcing plans to relocate or expand to Downtown on a weekly basis. Leading this charge is the Miami Downtown Development Authority, which has been recruiting firms to Miami for years and is enjoying a new burst of excitement that has solidified Downtown Miami’s position as Wall Street of the South (or are we the next Silicon Valley?)
Start Your Engines, Miami
A global sport meets a global city as Miami prepares to host its first Grand Prix in 2022, beginning a 10-year partnership between with Formula 1. The sport’s expansion makes Miami the only city in the world with Formula 1, NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLS soccer. The 3.36-mile track will be built around Hard Rock Stadium and will include nineteen corners and three long straights, with drivers expected to reach top speeds of almost 200 mph.
All Eyes on Allapattah
With 1000+ people moving to Florida every day, emerging neighborhoods like Miami’s Allapattah are on the rise. Wynwood’s gritty neighbor to the west, the city’s historic Fruit Packing District is being rediscovered with new restaurants, arts and culture venues, and mixed-use commercial and residential developments, such as No. 17 Residences Allapattah. The neighborhood’s proximity to Miami’s Health District, Downtown Miami, and the Brickell Financial District – along with its access to public transit – make this a viable option for those seeking to live near the city’s top business and entertainment districts.
Paradise Found: Miami’s Reputation
In November 1981, Time Magazine ran the infamous headline, “Paradise Lost?,” questioning Miami’s viability as a world-class city following a surge of drug violence, a spate of crimes targeting tourists, and racial tensions. Four decades later, Miami’s brand has reached the pinnacle of pop culture relevance. Mayor Francis Suarez is a Twitter sensation, Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy has taken his pizza-eating Instagram talents to Miami, and hardly a day goes by when Tik Tok isn’t buzzing with another A-list celebrity or titan of industry hobnobbing in the Magic City (Elon Musk is rumored to be here as I type. OMG – is that Tom Brady and Giselle settling into their new digs?).