“Status is having a condo in Miami,” declares Miami-Dade Commissioner Juan C. Zapata in this week’s New York Times story examining the flow of South American investment into South Florida.
Of course the arrival of Latin Americans in Miami is nothing new. Miami first boomed in the 1960′s thanks to a tidal wave of Cuban immigration. Since then the city has experienced a constant stream of newcomers from the south — most of whom have arrived in pursuit of economic opportunity or political stability.
Colombians, Argentinians, Peruvians, Venezuelans and Brazilians have all staked their claim and the numbers are growing.
Marcelo Claure, founder of Brightstar and David Beckham’s counterpart in bringing Miamiits own professional soccer team, calls the city the “indisputable capital of Latin America.” The moniker makes sense given that 45% of local businesses are owned by immigrants, over half of residents are foreign born, and 63% of the population speaks Spanish at home.
More evidence: the Miami Downtown Development Authority has released a new study that shows 90% of the condos being purchased in the City’s urban core are going to foreign buyers, 65% of which are Latin American.