In 2004 the landscape of downtown Miami changed dramatically. It was the height of the condo building boom and the same year that MDM Development Group broke ground on its Metropolitan Miami project. It seemed everywhere you looked in downtown Miami there was another construction site. People even joked about the new skyline that had about as many cranes as buildings. However, just as fast as the boom started, it quickly experienced a backlash sparked by the downward spiral of the real estate market.
It took years for people to regain faith in downtown Miami and that has been more evident than ever in the growth of the area in 2011. Earlier this year condo occupancy reached 85%. Businesses are also opening at an encouraging rate and the neighborhood is more of a community than ever. It took a long time to get to this point, but it seems that continued evolution is on the horizon.
“When we started selling in 2003, nobody knew for sure what would come of downtown Miami, who would live here, etc.,” says Teresa Valiente of Met Miami Properties. “Now downtown is for real. It’s established as a young and vibrant community.”
While the growth is extremely positive, the reduced inventory means that condo prices for buyers and renters have increased recently. However, the price increase has not slowed sales or rentals.
“People understand that condo prices in downtown Miami are a matter of supply and demand,” continues Valiente. “The fact is that people want to live here. In addition to the exciting lifestyle that the area affords, residents love the location. They are close to main expressways, the airport, South Beach, and the American Airlines Arena.”
“Most of our residents are young professionals and believe that the size of their home is secondary to having more time to enjoy their lives,” says Mary Arias, also of Met Miami Properties. “They don’t want to spend hours driving to get to work. They like having the option of walking to work, to restaurants and to shops as well as the convenience of having the Metro Mover across the street.