Miami basks in the glow of the NY Times

The NY Times reports on Miami’s thriving real estate market against the backdrop of the doom-and-gloom days of the Great Recession.

Most refreshing is that the Times avoided falling into the trap of analyzing the market through the condominium prism. National and international media often make this mistake when covering Miami, in turn ignoring the big picture, market-wide dynamics at play.

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Instead, locally-based writer Nick Madigan, reported on the real estate landscape holistically – going beyond condos to survey what’s happening in the retail, office and multifamily sectors. The story is available at the below link.

In a nutshell, we’re seeing a surge of development and investment activity in and around the city’s urban core as new businesses, residents and tourists arrive.

The result is the rise of dozens of new apartment towers, hotels, lifestyle retail centers, and yes, condos. At some developments, such as Miami Worldcenter, we’re seeing a combination of all of the above come to life.

As JLL’s South Florida Managing Director Alan Kleber puts it, “We’re watching another Manhattan being built.”

Miami Emerges From Gloom Into Residential and Commercial Sunlight

Nick Madigan

MIAMI — It was always Miami Beach, a barrier island on the sun-dappled Atlantic, that attracted the attention, the glamorous notices, the billions of dollars in real estate speculation.

Just four miles away on the mainland, the sprawling metropolis of Miami suffered for years in the comparison, its scruffy downtown largely devoid of life after offices closed for the day and commuters fled to the suburbs. Inner-city neighborhoods, mired in poverty, were far from investors’ radars.

“It was a ghost town, with vacant parcels, no residential areas, no museums,” said Alan R. Kleber, managing director of the local office of JLL, an investment management company that specializes in commercial real estate. “It was a wasteland with an amazing view.”

Miami long struggled to achieve the patina of prosperity, even though glimmers appeared in the Brickell neighborhood, where condominium towers and office buildings proliferated, and more recently in the Design District, with its elegant boutiques.

Now, a wave of commercial and residential development in downtown Miami and its periphery is altering the city’s skyline. And in providing options for those less affluent than the condo dwellers by the water, it is challenging the long-held perception that Miami is not a place where a middle-class person can live well and raise a family.

“It’s become dynamic and vibrant, even for the naysayers,” Mr. Kleber said of the last few years. “What you’re seeing is the densification of a city, right before your eyes. We’re watching another Manhattan being built.”

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