Will the New Developments in the Miami Design District Create a New "SoHo " South ?

By
Real Estate Agent with Piquet Realty

To answer this question we have to turn back 17 years at which time  South Beach developer Craig Robbins ,turned his sights on the once run down Design District ,and as with South Beach bought up properties most developers were running away from .Although today the area is not heavily populated ,it has in the 17 years become a trendy environment for high-end art,dining ,design and home furnishings nationally and internationally .He has enlisted the cooperation of the mayor of Miami ,Thomas Regalado to assist the area in getting more pedestrian traffic needed to make a  24-hour urban environment .

Robbins fronted with his company Dacra , has stepped up his activities in order to bring in a new mix of international fashion designers, loft condos and boutique hotels surrounded by chic restaurants .It appears the goal is to create Miami's version of the hip neighborhoods in the likeness of New York City's SoHo or Meat Packing District .Many think it's  too big an order with the economy in very poor shape and more development seems like the last thing on anyone's mind. However ,on the other hand  many capital funds in New York are leaving for better values in Miami and in aggregate investing billions of dollars in distressed condo buildings and commercial properties . So why not continue investing in Miami's Design District ?

According to recent articles in the Miami Herald many luxury fashion names for decades at Bal Harbor Surfside shops, like Hermes, are moving to the Miami Design District.In addition , in the last several months Louis Vitton, Dior and Cartier have closed their doors  at Bal Harbor in favor of Miami's Design District ,with a few favoring Aventura ,or going to both locations. A great deal of these changes are a direct result of Robbins .In 2011 ,Robbins invested more than $40 million to acquire 10 more properties in the Design District ,amassing over 60% of the entire neighborhood as well as tying up the major part of the central core between NE 1st and 2nd  Avenues .

In March of 2011 ,the Design District future took on new heights when Louis Vuitton announced plans to open it's first store in the District  by 2014 .Because it's parent company is Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy (LVMH ),there is expectation some of the brands  controlled by the parent LVMH ,will follow into the area  mainly coming from the Bal Harbor Shops .Robbins goal in the next 5 years is to bring in up to 30 luxury retailers as tenants in the area ,with such names as Hermes, Armani ,Gucci ,Prada,Cartier and Dior to De Beers of the LVMH brands.I believe the combination of capital inflows into the Greater Miami area from such places as New York ,Europe ,Latin America ,Russia and other areas ,that the aspirations of the Miami Design District will become  a reality sooner than later .

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