Development Report: Downtown Miami

The population of downtown Miami has grown by 40% in eight years, according to a new report by the Downtown Development Authority. The population of tourists and workers is also soaring, and there are several major development projects in the works.

Thanks to the additions of new nightlife and restaurant options, new museums and art spaces, greater connectivity via the Brightline, and other developments, the area has seen a resurgence in energy after years of uncertainty. The city now sees a daytime population of 250,000, as well as 92,000 residents, says the DDA. There are 30 projects under construction, 8,100 hotel rooms, and 213 residential buildings.

What’s more, construction on the Miami Worldcenter—a mixed-use development project spanning 27 acres in the heart of Downtown Miami—is currently underway after 15 years of planning. The development will comprise retail shops, restaurants, entertainment options, office spaces, hotels, residential units and an expo center. It is the largest mixed-use site under development in the country outside of Hudson Yards in New York, according to Forbes (which calls Downtown Miami “a rising star among the galaxy of burgeoning cities”).

A rendering of the Flagler Street redesign. Image via Flagler Street Miami.

On the nearby stretch of Flagler Street that runs from Biscayne Boulevard westward to Southwest 1st Avenue, plans are also underway for a curbless, pedestrian-free rebuild. New features will include wider sidewalks, outdoor dining areas, more shade, lighting and signage improvements, public art and smart city technology, according to Next Miami. Construction is set to begin after the Superbowl in Spring 2020.

Amid all of this planning and construction, several sectors have thrived. Office rents in Miami’s Downtown area have reached record highs with growth in both traditional and coworking spaces, as ComReal has previously reported. Retail is also robust, as it is in other parts of the region, with 36% retail growth year-over-year. Downtown Miami’s expansion is yet a further signal of South Florida’s strength in the commercial real estate market.

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