New life for downtown Miami retail

Miami Worldcenter - Entry Plaza 04.25.14

Bal Harbour has been South Florida’s undisputed king of high-end retail for decades, but a new crop of entrants into the market promise to shift the center of gravity in the region’s
shopping sector.

The latest sign was the Miami City Commission’s preliminary approval of the Miami Worldcenter development in downtown Miami.

Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s are set to anchor Miami Worldcenter; Saks Fifth Avenue recently announced it will open at Brickell City Centre; and the redevelopment of the Design District is well underway. These three projects represent a new era of retail development in Miami – one with a clear concentration on the urban core as retailers look to capture demand among the area’s growing base of locals, tourists, business travelers and part-time residents.

This surge of retail activity hasn’t been a coincidence.

As Alyce Robertson of the Miami Downtown Development Authority points out in this Miami Herald op-ed, the public sector has had a hand in helping downtown’s revolution by pouring in billions of dollars to build new transportation links, museums,


parks and infrastructure over the last decade. Robertson calls it a “real-world example of how investments aimed at improving public infrastructure and enhancing quality of life can help lure private sector investment.”

On any given day, 200,000 people are living and working in and around downtown Miami – and with three dozen new residential projects underway (and a handful of new hotels planned), this number will only grow with time.