Assessing the Neighborhoods and Condo Buildings of Miami

January 31, 2008 by Lucas Lechuga

A great comment was made this morning asking me for my take on the various neighborhoods in Miami. Excellent topic and one that I’m sure my non-local readers would appreciate.

Miami condo buildings map

The map above is a portion of a larger map that was created by the Miami Downtown Development Authority. It is a great resource for people to see where various condo buildings throughout Miami are located. I realize that it is very difficult to view the above image. I do, however, have a PDF of the map on my file sharing page. Click on the file called “Miami Developments Map Aug07”. You may also want to view the file called “Miami Developments Report Aug07”. There you will find profile pages for several condo developments in Miami.

The map does not encompass all of Miami, however. It basically covers just those neighborhoods in Miami that had the most condo development during our recent boom. It also doesn’t show every condo development on the map. I’m not sure how far back it goes but my guess is that it only includes developments built since 2004.

The Neighborhoods of Miami

  1. Brickell – Brickell is also known as the financial district of Miami. A lot of large international banks are located in Brickell. Also, the majority of Miami’s condos are located in Brickell. When you see a picture of the Miami skyline you are most likely looking at the various condo buildings in Brickell.This is considered by most to be an affluent neighborhood. There are some very high-end condo buildings located in this neighborhood such as Four Seasons Residences and Santa Maria.However, there is a large supply of condos that has recently begun to hit the market in Brickell. Buyers will definitely have good opportunities and a lot of options within the next couple of years. You really need to research these buildings considerably if you intend to buy. There are some condo developments in Brickell that I feel are overpriced and will likely come down over the next 2-3 years. There are others that I feel are appealing to end-users. I also wanted to note that there is only one waterfront lot left in Brickell.
  2. Brickell Key – Many would say that Brickell Key is viewed as an exclusive neighborhood with its gated entry into the neighborhood and its paved brick roads. There isn’t much new inventory in Brickell Key that will hit the market within the next year. In fact, only 123 new condos will hit the market once Asia closes its units. Other than the small piece of land behind the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, there is no room left to build in Brickell Key which means that there probably won’t be any new supply there for many years. Many might argue that the large supply of condos in Brickell will have an effect on prices of condos located in Brickell Key. However, some would tell you that they only want to live in Brickell Key.
  3. Downtown Miami – In my opinion, Downtown Miami needs more infrastructure before it can become a great neighborhood. It’ll take some time but will eventually become a great place to live. My opinion is that until this becomes a realization current prices will be difficult to justify. Long-term though, I think Downtown Miami will be a very happening place to live.
  4. Park West – Park West is a small area of Miami that is located directly south of the MacArthur Causeway. It is currently comprised of four buildings. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I believe this neighborhood has the greatest long-term potential for various reasons that I’ve mentioned in other posts. In the short-run, however, I feel that prices won’t go up until grocery stores, pharmacies, coffee shops, etc. become available in Park West. I’ve heard from various people that Gardener’s Market is negotiating a lease to open a store at the base of 900 Biscayne. Park West needs more of this.
  5. Arts District and Edgewater – The Arts District is a fairly large area. I typically regard it as beginning at the Carnival Center for the Performing Arts and ending on NE 36 Street, although everyone has their own definition. In my opinion, this will be the last neighborhood to turn around. There is still a lot of room to build on waterfront lots because there are a lot of run-down buildings that could easily be knocked down. It does have Margaret Pace Park though which is a fantastic park. I think opportunities for investors to buy in bulk will become available in some of the new buildings in the Arts District. I currently know of one.

I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts and input.

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101 Comments on "Assessing the Neighborhoods and Condo Buildings of Miami"


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Anonymous
perez
8 years 7 months ago

The Arts District is promising. Some areas need improvement, but Biscayne Blvd’s retail and restaurants are improving; it just feels real. Great Latin American Cafe. It’s very convenient to Downtown, and the Beaches. Improvements to Omni and Midtown should also help.

One thing I don’t like is how many roads just dead end at the Bay; the bay front road in front of Cite and Paramount Bay should have been designed to continue North along the bay.

Anonymous
lara
8 years 7 months ago

I guess people who live in Cite and will occupy Paramount are very happy about dead end roads. IT is more comfortable for them

Anonymous
8 years 7 months ago

I think you left out a lot about Downtown. I live there now (50 Biscayne) and the amount of retail stores, financial institutions, coffee shops, restaurants, etc, are endless. I believe it’s the only place you can live right now in Miami that has access to so many places that are truly “walking distance”. It will keep getting better, no doubt, but it’s really not so bad the way it is! :)

Anonymous
8 years 7 months ago

A very interesting map. When I am searching on foreclosures (and other real estate) in Miami, no website seems to have these particular areas. This would be helpful for real estate websites to have things readily searchable by areas such as:
– Brickell Ave Area
– Liberty City Area

Anonymous
8 years 7 months ago
Downtown should become awesome once MET is fully realized. Met 3 with the whole foods and MetSquare. This should be a great bridge into Brickell from Downtown. Lucas, I agree with you about the Arts District (North of Paramount). This will take longer to absorb, but all the buildings including Paramount and South (Cite, Quantum, 1800 Club) should absorb quicker as they feel safer in terms of location and also investment wise. They are closest to downtown, PAC and all the retail space improvements. Some of the run-down houses need to be removed North but I am starting to see… Read more »
Anonymous
perez
8 years 7 months ago

I must agree with Alex about the walkability/convenience of downtown. Access to the metromover is very important. Of course South and North Beach are very pedestrian-friendly.

Which Downtown buildings have the best Bayviews? One Miami is probably awesome.

Anonymous
RA
8 years 7 months ago

Agree about Downtown and Parkwest. These areas can only go up and once the Bicentenniel Park is fully realized Park West will shine. 3 of the 4 towers are done or just about done so the influx of new residents should spur all those other elements such as the coffe shops etc.. Park West – the Park Ave to come.

Anonymous
Wild Bill
8 years 7 months ago
Park West neighborhood should be named Wild West. Besides the few new buildings on the fringes of Biscayne Blvd., this area consists of empty lots, vacant buildings and some of the angriest residents from cross the railroad tracks I have ever seen. The filth and disgusting behavior of the crowds who flock to the 24 hour club zone are a sight to be seen. Make sure you have a very large breed of dog if you want to walk around undisturbed, or be ready to fight. (glass beer bottles make good weapons) Police force for the entire area was six… Read more »
Anonymous
Terry
8 years 7 months ago
Attn Wild Bill, Your description of the neighborough is scaring me off, as I am a potential buyer in Marina Blue. Biscayne Bd and the park look nice, you also have a metromover station right by, but it is true I have never though about all the area behind and around the Mc Arthur causeway bridge just there… It will be even worst then for Marquis which is supposed to be even higher end and sits right next to the freeway bridge ! Anyone see improvement yet in the area ? Or should we wait for the park to be… Read more »
Anonymous
jcrimes
8 years 7 months ago

“once the Bicentenniel Park is fully realized ” sorry , but that won’t be happening in the next ten years. park west is gonna be stagnant for some time…it isn’t pedestrian friendly, the area two blocks west is deplorable and won’t be improving soon and the buildings that are going up there are simply way too ahead of the economic curve.

also, anybody hear braman speak on thursday at the federation event? he’s got an interesting lawsuit regarding the city’s intention to build el chunnel DOS (for all you heat fans).

Anonymous
8 years 7 months ago

Are any of you commenting here even locals? Or did you last visit Miami like 5 years ago or something of that effect? It is very easy to sit in front of a computer screen miles away and throw out these negative comments.

Terry, If you are considering buying, do yourself a favor and visit the area and make your own educated decision. Don’t let these other comments deter you from exploring this area.

Anonymous
jcrimes
8 years 7 months ago
well samir, i’m not sure what’s inaccurate about the description of park west that has been posted here. hell, about a month ago, while at the BP on biscayne, i got a first row seat to unique miami theatre – a homeless guy taking a dump next to 900 biscayne (or was it marina blue? who cares). in all seriousness samir, you all keep on talking about potential…which is something different than the reality. the reality today is that park west is a dump with four new buildings going up at prices that make little sense considering who the potential… Read more »
Anonymous
Julio Bonilla
8 years 7 months ago
Lucas, thanks for all this info. Helpful even for locals who may not be very familiar with all of these areas. And I strongly agree with one aspect of Samir Patel’s post. The comments and advice of others here should be considered when deciding where to buy, however we must remember that these comments are at least in part subjective and can therefore be skewed or “biased” by the individual likes and dislikes of the person making the comment. In the process of deciding where to buy, there is no substitute for creating your own first hand experience by spending… Read more »
Anonymous
8 years 7 months ago
I was very entertained by the posts above! (especially Wild Bill’s and jcrimes’!) LOL Parkwest really does have a lonnng way to go. Just park your car at the gas station between the buildings and walk around. See how much there is to do there. I would recommend you bring a friend along or a weapon (apparently toilet paper could also be a bargaining chip). Make sure to also walk across the street to the “park”. Feels like home? You decide! Now, (if you’re still in one piece) drive South on Biscayne to Flagler and park next to or behind… Read more »
Anonymous
Wild Bill
8 years 7 months ago
The locals just up the block for Park West resent the new buildings and the wealth. The alley behind clubs was renovated at a cost of $800,000. Is supposed to be a Grand Promenade. This is where most the money in the neighborhood went.(Most expensive alley in America?) Another $50,000 went in Club Space for plumbing. Good use of tax money. Where club alley ends at the railroad tracks is now a no parking zone. That is because hundreds of cars that parked there were broken into. The City of Miami couldn’t do anything so they just made it a… Read more »
Anonymous
peterson
8 years 7 months ago

Samir is just trying to make it sound nice so he can try and sell more. Sales aren’t a derivative of plugging away with propaganda, they come from education. Why don’t you explain to your clients that the market is going to decline and get them to buy from you in a year…instead of pushing people to buy overpriced condos now

Anonymous
dreaming
8 years 7 months ago
i spent 6 months on brickell key in isola. nice view, but the whole area is very sterile. there is nothing there but cars speeding in and out around the clock and a few iguanas sunning themselves below the bridge. why anyone wants to live there is beyond me. the new buildings downtown look nice, but aside from the pools and gyms, there is nothing else to do there. wander over to bayside market? for what? some overpriced tourist traps? the place is depressing. downtown? a dirty mess. not a decent store outside of macys. a couple of starbucks, true.… Read more »
Anonymous
8 years 7 months ago

Lucas-

Anyway you could update the Deals! section of the website more often? Also, if you do start to do more updates, is there anyway that you could reflect recent additions to the list on the home page of your site? Thanks again for this great webpage, we all appreciate your honest assesment of the Miami condo market.

Anonymous
8 years 7 months ago

dreaming,

Sounds like Miami is not for you…..

Anonymous
8 years 7 months ago

Great summary.

Do you have something similiar for the Miami Beach area, Sunny Isles, Bal Harbour etc.?
Do you think situatuation there is as bad as in downtown Miami?

Anonymous
8 years 7 months ago
Of course Downtown is not that great now. It is still a construction site. I was visiting again yesterday 10 Museum Park and this building is ust great. When you invest in real estate, you don’t invest for the next 2 years. If you want that you can have some very nice opportunities in South Pointe in South Beach. But not at the same price. And a few years ago when the Portofino Tower was built in South Pointe, they had too to be isolated from the grim outside them. And you still have this feeling of heavy security when… Read more »
Anonymous
8 years 7 months ago

this is the BEST blog.

Anonymous
jcrimes
8 years 7 months ago

projecting is one thing, but if you’re asking me to be an urban pioneer but pay good neighborhood prices in the process, that’s just absurd. really, how long do most people hold a condo for? i’ll take a guess and say less than seven years. and in the next seven years, park west will still be a bastard child of a neighborhood.

Anonymous
8 years 7 months ago
The area closest to the Central Business District surrounding 50 Biscayne, The Loft Downtown, The Loft 2, One Miami and soon Everglades on the Bay and The Met is definitely way ahead of Park West as a neighborhood. I think that urban planners, the architects who designed those buildings, and The Related Group (is it a coincidence that 4 out of the 6 buildings mentioned above were developed by Jorge Perez’s – educated as an urban planner – group? ) did a much better job of incorporating the exterior elements and creating a pedestrian-friendlier experience. Add to that the neighborhood’s… Read more »
Anonymous
Gerry Hussey
8 years 7 months ago
Does anyone know the current mentaility of owners of Ten Museum Park who have their Units listed? (ie: See Mark Zilbert’s website) I haven’t looked long enough to see them lowering their prices. I’m baffled when I see huge price differences for the same Line 7. Sure, there should be a slight difference for higher floors but not by as much as the $50k to $100k+ I’m seeing. Are sellers just listing them for sale just for kicks to see if any desperate buyers come by? Or do they have too much money sunk and need close to asking price?… Read more »
Anonymous
8 years 7 months ago
Peterson – first of all I don’t push anything on my clients. I sell only what my clients desire to buy. If they want to buy today, then why should they wait a year. You assume everyone has a pure investor mentality and wants to buy units at $.50 on the dollar. Even you must know that is not possible unless you are looking to do a transaction for many units and I don’t mean 5-10. I don’t waste my time on buildings which obviously will drop in value. But even you must also realize that if someone bought a… Read more »
Anonymous
8 years 7 months ago
Gerry Hussey, without actually looking at the MLS photos, I would expect the price differences to reflect maybe raw and upgraded units. Some owners do not get it, they may dump $50-$100k into a unit and screw themselves. Sometimes a buyer just wants a great price and upgrade the unit to their own taste. Also those 2 bedrooms (06 and 07 lines) don’t have as great a view as the 1 bedroom (08 line) although do I think the view should outweigh the sq ft in this case? I don’t know just yet. I think TMP is great for the… Read more »
Anonymous
cyrus
8 years 7 months ago
samir, you’re a knowledgable realtor and have good insights in your posts. with all due respect, as you said ‘no one can predict the future’….i will say that in the NEAR future, prices will only go further down. if sellers can only remove the emotions and ‘hope’ out of the equation, it’s quite clear. there is just WAY too much inventory…and MUCH more to come in the next year or two. demand is close to dead for things under 2 mil (i would say things over 3 mil move better in this mkt). lack of credit which is not helped… Read more »
Anonymous
cyrus
8 years 7 months ago

…so when you mentioned ‘predicting the future’…you’re correct, but you can certainly make a very calculated prediction – for the reasons i just mentioned. call it predicting the future or something else..

Anonymous
8 years 7 months ago
Cyrus, It is true I am seeing a dropoff in sales between $370,000-$1,000,000. However there are still transactions taking place, its not completely dead. Many buyers have already been waiting for 2 years for buildings to just open so now they can walk inside and see the actual views. I firmly believe that not everyone will wait another 1-2 years to make their purchase and of course the best priced units at any given time will sell. I am just stating that if I sell a waterfront unit for $300 per sq ft today and a similar unit priced at… Read more »
Anonymous
Mr Waverly
8 years 7 months ago
To FD-Condo’s comment about South Point and Portofino Tower. Portafino was completed in 1996, that would be more than a few years ago and it’s average price per foot was $250,000. The area was still somewhat questionable four years later when in 2000 I purchased my first property on Ocean Dr “South Of Fifth”.. Back then there was plans to build out all of the waterfront lots with luxury towers and that they did. All of the buildings were true luxury with 190 to 331 units and each delivered in a timely fashion. Two keys to South of Fifth success… Read more »
Anonymous
8 years 7 months ago

Furthermore, like most Realtors and Brokers out there I wish we could bridge the gap between sellers and buyers quicker. No one likes this stalemate.

Anonymous
Mr Waverly
8 years 7 months ago

Sorry,, Portofino started at $250 per foot..

Anonymous
8 years 7 months ago
Mr Waverly, you say that many of the downtown buildings are not true luxury. If you try to build some of the same new buildings you get in downtown – 50 Biscayne, Marina Blue, 900, Marquis, Ten Museum Park in South Beach what would you expect to pay pre-construction? Would you even be able to find a lot to build on and get approved for with the height? Also now go into the older buildings in South Beach – Floridian, Waverly – these buildings are horrible if you are comparing to the newest downtown buildings. Would you pay $450 per… Read more »
Anonymous
Dan
8 years 7 months ago
This market has never been seen before. Prices went up at a ridiculous rate over the last 10 years. Now the easy financing is dead and will never return like it was….banks have lost billions and billions of dollars. The speculator frenzy is gone and will not be repeated. The number of foreclosures are the highest since the Great Depression. This is very serious stuff here. Rental rates are half the cost of ownership. The economics of the situation can not be denied. Real estate is not a momentum investment (nor are stocks really either). The supply of homes compared… Read more »
Anonymous
Dan
8 years 7 months ago
At some point, people will find that they really don’t have to live in South Beach and prices will drop. The justification to pay such high prices was that you’d at least get your money back out of it, worst case scenario. Well, that is no longer the case. Realtors may try and try to hold up the market, but they can’t fight the economics of each person acting in their best interests. And a significant number will act rationally enough that prices will fall, and in many areas fall by a heck of a lot. 40% from top to… Read more »
Anonymous
8 years 7 months ago

Why do you buy a car? To use right? Do you invest in a car to bring you a return? Everyone got into their heads that a house is a great investment. Yes for the LOOOOOOOOOOOONG term. If anyone buys today do you think they are thinking of selling in a year? I think people are a little wiser than that. Or maybe I am giving people too much credit. Not everyone is looking at real estate as a short term investment.

Anonymous
8 years 7 months ago

I think we should do a poll to find out how many here are trying to catch the bottom.

Anonymous
Dan
8 years 7 months ago
The analogy to a car is a false one. Cars have a very limited useful life and are priced accordingly. If real estate was priced as a consumable, then the prices would be much much less. Other than the structure, land does not get consumed and remains useful. If you buy before the bottom, you will have to wait a LOOOOOOOOOOOOONG time to get to at least break even. It is reckless to not at least take into account the “investment” aspect of such a large purchase since most people don’t keep that piece of real estate until they die.… Read more »
Anonymous
8 years 7 months ago

Dan, you just threw out “another 20% less than current pricing”. Of what pricing? 20% less than the units that are clearly overpriced in a building? 20% less than the lowest priced units in a building? What do you mean? It is the generalization in numbers like this which I don’t agree with. Not every unit within a building is priced the same. And not every building should be valued the same.

Anonymous
8 years 7 months ago
Gerry & Samir, I just discovered something very, very interesting about the one bedrooms at Ten Museum Park! Samir, go into the MLS and pull up only the one bedroom units. See anything similar about the listings? About six weeks ago there was an investment group that bought about 15-20 one bedrooms units at Ten Museum Park. The reason why I knew this was because my client’s unit was one of the 15-20 units. His, however, was the only they bought as a resale. If you pull up closed sales at Ten Museum Park you’ll see that my listing is… Read more »
Anonymous
Dan
8 years 7 months ago

Simple, the 20% is an average. Most units in a building have already been priced according to their relative values to other units in a building (after the building has been built, before it is built some factors are unknown until it is built). A poor view is already priced less than a great view. As a percentage of decline, that will average out. Although some speculators who can’t afford to hold may get desperate and sell for even less, banks may do the same.

Why get caught up trying to justify high prices for a particular unit?

Anonymous
Dan
8 years 7 months ago

I don’t know why people try to fight economics of situations. It is beyond your control. It didn’t work with communism. It didn’t work with prohibition.

If you have a client that needs to sell. A 10% lose now is better than the holding costs and a 20%-30% loss later. So, price it to sell now. The market won’t appreciate for a very long time. The drivers of the false price appreciation no longer exist and won’t be coming back for an Act 2, ever.

Anonymous
8 years 7 months ago

Dan,

I look at the MLS daily. It’s part of my job as you can tell. The thing that you have to realize is that not everyone drops their price at the same time and not everyone prices relative to each other. So averages don’t work in all cases. Not everyone listing properties for sale cares about dropping prices. Many are just throwing out their price for whatever reason – they may think their property is the best in the world, who knows. Yes I think it is foolish but that’s what happens in some cases.

Anonymous
8 years 7 months ago

Pricing is ultimately the decision of the owner. And not every owner is of the same mentality. I would venture out to say I would bet most Realtors and Brokers out there would pray for every seller to just drop the price so we can have tons of transactions flowing again but that just isn’t the case.

Anonymous
8 years 7 months ago

Lucas, good read. I just noticed that 1105. What a ride for that unit. I also heard something before TMP opened. I heard that a few of those 05’s were potentially going to be used as vacation rentals for the spa. Hear anything about this? Do you know what their condo docs say about rentals?

Anonymous
8 years 7 months ago

I never heard anything about that but that was my guess when I heard about an investment group buying 15-20 units. Maybe that is why each one of them looks the same. But I’m wondering why they would even relist them. No, I don’t know what the condo docs say about rentals.

Anonymous
Dan
8 years 7 months ago

Yes, I clearly understand the different pricing for different units. Those that “throw out their price” will get the appropriate response from the market. No interest and no offers. Real estate has costs beyond the mere purchase price. And when those costs are not offset by rising values, people will have to lower their prices. It is what it is. There simply is no urgency to buy, even for units directly on the beach.

Anonymous
Dan
8 years 7 months ago

“Pricing is ultimately the decision of the owner.” And that is what makes markets and is “economics”. The major drivers of these enormous price increases are gone forever.

Regarding the rentals for the spa quoted above….I hope they bought at a price that can be supported by the rentals.

The economics also are why I don’t worry about the price of a loaf of bread. Groceries are more or less a competitive market, and the price sensitive buyers and coupon clippers do the work for me by holding down prices.

Anonymous
8 years 7 months ago

According to the Declaration of Condominium recorded in the public records 3 month minimum rentals.

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