If you haven’t been to Miami in a year or more you won’t recognize it. The only other place that comes to mind with so many construction cranes is Shanghai where they call the crane the national bird. Miami is a city of cities – Downtown, Aventura, Miami Beach, Design District, Coconut Grove, Wynwood, and more. And many of them are enjoying the boom that’s not just residential, but commercial construction.
Probably most impressive is the $1.05 billion mixed use development project of Swire Properties called Brickell City Center pictured here that seems to shoot up from one day to another, much like a teenager in growth spurt. Will this be another one of Miami’s boom and then bust cycles? The circumstances are different this time. As a Harvard educated, long time resident mover and shaker said to me, Miami will be one of the three US global financial centers in the future. It’s Miami for Latin America and the Southeast US; New York for the East Coast and Europe; and Los Angeles for Asia and the Pacific Basin.
Miami is just growing into its new role. It will be a place on the marquis of global luxury brands – New York, London, Shanghai, Miami, etc, a place they need to be. We’re already seeing it. High end shopping centers including Bal Harbour Shops and Aventura Mall have major expansion plans, joining an expansion in the Design District and the new offering in Brickell City Center. Luxury hotel brands are all moving in or adding properties (a second Four Seasons and second SLS Hotel), refurbishings of Art Deco properties in particular happening at a quickening pace. Is there still room for more hotels beyond what is projected? I can’t call that one. But what is for sure is that any major player in travel and luxury lifestyle needs to give Miami a serious look at this exciting time by any measure.