Coral Way- A decent urban Miami neighborhood linking Coral Gables to Downtown

Coral Way is a neighborhood in Southwest Miami built around Coral Way, a road established by Coral Gables founder George E. Merrick in the 1920s.  Some of the oldest sections of the neighborhood contain a mixture of Mission Revival Style and Bungalow homes, some Art Deco but also a lot more simple post-World War II dwellings. Coral Way is a historic urban boulevard lined with large Banyan trees creating one of the most beautiful corridors in South Florida. It also links Dwtn Miami to Coral Gables.

From an urban perspective Coral Way does well with moderate density, great access to dwtn accompanied with decent public transit, a solid set of restaurants & bars, lots of brand name retail in Miracles Marketplace mall, quality schools, great economic diversity, and a wide range of housing options, much more affordable than other inner-city Miami districts. But there are many areas of urban improvement for Coral Way as bike and park amenities are limited, few residents walk, much of the commercial along Coral Way is auto centric, and there is limited dedicated affordable housing. But Coral Way has good urban bones and infrastructure and could easily become a very successful urban district if its growth is directed towards creating quality mixed-use environments along Coral Way and other parts of the neighborhood.

Click here to view my Coral Way album on Flickr

URBAN STRENGTHS:

* Great access to dwtn with decent public transit access.
* Culturally diverse array of restaurants (Coral Way and Calle 8), good # of bars, Cafes. Some art galleries, some night clubs along Calle 8, no museums really.
* Good retail amenities but often in auto centric settings. There are 2 full service supermarkets, several drug stores. Miracle Marketplace (mini mall) includes Marshalls, Nordstrom, and many brand name retails. There is also a Sears, Hardware store, an office depot, big lots, plenty of salons & barbershops, post office, public library, plenty of churches, and Coral Gables & Miami Children’s neighborhood’s edges.
* Excellent economic diversity and decent family diversity.
* Good array of schools and generally well rated. Could use some more high schools though.
* Good mix of for sale options. 1-bed condos and SF homes sell btwn 150K-400K, 2-beds 200K-700K depending on size and quality. 3 & 4 beds 300K- 1M.

URBAN WEAKNESSES:

* Bike infrastructure is limited to one dedicated bike lane and one bike station.
* Very Hispanic dominated population near 80% but more diverse than neighboring Little East Havana.
* Park amenities limited to a couple small to medium parks. Maybe 3? Throughout a very large neighborhood.
* Generally a very safe district. The SW residential corner is a bit gritty but not terrible.
* Pedestrian activity is limited even though there is pretty good sidewalk infrastructure.
* Mix of attractive 30 & 40s homes and bland mid century design. Better homes in the center and east of Coral Way.
* About 1/2 of the urban commer is oriented on the street but most of it is bland.
* Urban form on Coral Way is a mixed bag. So is Calle Ocho. Dixie Hwy is very autocentric.
* Retail is pretty concentrated along Coral Way and Calle Ocho.
* Rentals are more expensive but cheaper than surrounding Miami neighborhoods. 1-beds lease btwn the mid 1K and mid 2Ks, 2-beds rent in the 2ks & 3ks, and 3-beds 3K-7K.
* Not much dedicated affordable hsg.

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