Downtown Miami, FL

I included within my Downtown Miami evaluation anywhere between SE 15 and NE 15th Roads,1-95/NW 1st Ave to the west and the water to the east. This includes half of the Bricknell District.

Downtown Miami is the historic heart of Miami. Along with Coconut Grove, it is the oldest settled area of Miami, with early pioneer settlements dating to the early 19th century. But development really didn’t get started until the extension of the Flagler railroad in 1896.  Not surprisingly, there are only a handful of antique skyscrapers here and a small area remaining (btwn 1st SE and 2nd St NE) of concentrated historic structures. But Downtown Miami is in a boom cycle becoming the fast-growing area by population in the Miami area. This has particularly occurred in Bricknell, Miami’s densest and most complete urban district. Other housing concentrations are along the bay and in the Town Square sub district. Miami is one of the densest downtowns in America. Downtown also hosts a very high # of families for a Dwtn neighborhood certainly helped by having excellent schools and quality parks.

Downtown Miami is on the cusp of becoming an elite American Downtown. The area where it needs to improve the most is the filling in of vacant lots and surface parking lots north of the Miami River with in-fill. Miami could also improve pedestrian connections across the Miami River, clean up its sketchy spots, plant more trees, and provide more affordable rental housing. 

Click here to view my Downtown Miami Album on Flickr


* Great downtown density with around 22K per sq mile living here.
* Miami has very good public transit within the City and that service is generally at least decent in the suburbs northwards to Pompano Beach. North of here and south of South Miami is when quality public transit starts to peter off.
Dwtn transit score of 9.7. Miami City score of 8.5. Good transit in most suburbs up to Pompano Beach. So  north of here and so  south of Miami.
* Ok bike lanes within the City of Miami. More dedicated lanes outside of the City. Pretty good dedicated bike station system covering Dwtn + Miami neighborhoods along the bay + Miami beach.
* Great economic diversity and generational diversity. About 25% of all downtown households are households w/ children (very high for dwtns). Good racial diversity too.
* Excellent array of quality schools dwtn and not just private and charter schools but several well rated public schools.
* For Sale are generally expensive but tons of moderately priced product. studios sell anywhere btwn 150K-450K, 1-beds are very diverse in price ranging from 175K-1M and some even more expensive; similar situation with 2-beds with prices ranging anywhere from 200K- 2M ; lots of 3-bed product. Prices generally range from 450K-3M. Even a good number of 4 beds available.
* Given that 1/4 of dwtn residents are in poverty it appears Dwtn has many affordable apts.
* Dwtn anchored by Bayfront, Maurice Ferre, & Margaret Pace Parks. Handful of smaller parks.
* Good cultural amenities including  diverse restaurants, bars, cafes, and art galleries. Plenty of theaters ranging from community to professional, boutique theaters & a cineplex, lots of museums.
* Regional amenities include a Convention Center and the Miami Heat arena are Dwtn.
* Several satellite campus’s dwtn  but not major university presence. Probably 5-6K students dwtn.
* Solid employment #s with 170-200K office jobs. Strong rent demand still and very expensive.
* Retail amenities include 2 supermarkets, drug stores, a Marshalls, the expansive  Brickell City Centre (includes a Sac 5th, lots of clothing stores), Bayside Market (good array of shops but smaller & cheaper), plenty of boutiques, home goods & desserts, many banks & gyms, and a Dwtn library. 


* Connectivity is generally good but certainly several wider 1-way streets and poor connections (esp. for non cars) across the Miami River.
* Lots of rentals available but very expensive. Studios lease btwn 2K-4K, 1-beds is the same range but more product leasing in the 3Ks, 3-beds are plentiful but generally lease btwn 4K-10K with plenty even more expensive.
* Only one major league team plays dwtn.
* Some sketchy areas dwtn around Flagler where there is a high homeless population. These areas are esp. dangerous at night. But Bricknell and north of Flagler Avenue are safe areas.
* No stately post office
* Miami’s districts often lack strong distinction thanks to all the modern bldgs.
* Historic architecture is pretty limited but what does remain is nice.
* Urban massing is good in Bricknell but hit or miss north of the Miami River. Lots of open lots and surface parking still. Often a lack of cohesion.
* Tree canopy is so .
* Bricknell has a great buzz but north of the Miami River is hit or miss. 

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