USA Today: From toddlers to tourists, downtown Miami has it all

brickell-strollerIt’s no secret that downtown Miami has come alive as a full-blown residential neighborhood, chock full of millennials, internationals and — increasingly — families. You can’t throw a rock on Brickell Avenue today without hitting a twenty-something, a Portuguese speaker or a baby stroller (sometimes you’ll even pull a trifecta and come across a Brazilian thirty-something pushing a stroller!).

Greater downtown’s resident population has doubled in size — from 40,000 to more than 80,000 — since 2000 and this growth will continue as more and more condos come online over the coming years. A new report by the Miami DDA finds that there are more than 6,000 condo units underway in the City’s urban core, with 70 percent of those going up in the Brickell Financial District. All told, 22,000 units are in development or planned in the area.

ICMiami Exterior 2That’s not all. Downtown is also gaining ground as a destination for visitors. The market has more 4 and 5 star hotels than any neighborhood in Florida and a new crop of cultural and entertainment venues, swanky restaurants, and high-end shopping malls under construction are winning the area a place on the bucket lists of tourists from around the world.

Today’s issue of USA Today put it this way:

Downtown Miami was traditionally a place where people flocked to by day for work and abandoned at night. In recent years, in part because of the infusion of foreign investment, 23,000 condos have been built, doubling the population to about 80,000. Many of those new residents are young professionals between the ages of 25 and 40, says Javier Betancourt, deputy director of the Miami Downtown Development Authority.

“They like to shop and to dine and to go to bars and to go to entertainment centers, and that has brought a new energy to downtown,” he says.

The number of restaurants downtown has almost doubled in the last five years to 360, he says. Hotels such as YVE Hotel Miami have opened, as has the Perez Art Museum Miami and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County.

And there’s more to come. Billions of dollars’ worth of hotel, retail and entertainment developments are in the works, including the Brickell CitiCentre anchored by Saks Fifth Ave and Miami Worldcenter, complete with the 1,800-room Marriott Marquis World Convention Center Hotel.

Read the full USA Today story here.