By Chris Umpierre
Miami Beach gets the international acclaim and deservingly so, but there’s so much more to Miami than the beach. From the colorful murals in Wynwood to the international banks in Brickell to the stunning Mediterranean homes in Coral Gables, Miami offers a diverse array of neighborhoods. Each of Miami’s 34 municipalities is experiencing growth and major commercial development.
Let’s take a look at 10 Miami neighborhoods:
Downtown Miami is America’s fourth-fastest growing neighborhood, according to Realtor.com. The population here has doubled in the last 15 years to 80,000 residents. Two of the nation’s largest mixed-use projects--- Miami Worldcenter and Brickell City Centre --- are being built here.
Millennials love the new nightlife options, restaurants, shopping, ability to walk to work and free Metromover rail system. A new commuter train will start carrying commuters from downtown Miami to West Palm Beach in 2017, with service from Miami to Orlando following. Downtown is also near Brickell, which boasts more than 53 banks and is nicknamed “Wall Street South.”
Arts and culture can reinvigorate neighborhoods and increase property values, and there’s no better local example than Wynwood. The area, known for its colorful murals, has transformed from a quiet warehouse district to one of America’s most coveted tracts of real estate.
The Wynwood Arts District contains over 70 galleries, museums and collections. Today, Wynwood is an international capital of nightlife, dining and fashion. Huge apartment complexes are being planned here as residents clamor for more urban living.
This suburban community is home to Barry University, a private Catholic university founded in 1940. Miami Shores has a gay-friendly reputation and was named as one of the nation’s best places for LGBT people to retire, according to the Huffington Post.
Located between Little Haiti and North Miami, Miami Shores is a short drive from Downtown Miami.
The Town of Miami Lakes, located in northwest Miami, is one of the youngest cities in the county. The town has winding streets, lush landscaping, general parks and more.
The largest mall in the United States--- American Dream Miami--- plans to be built near Miami Lakes. American Dream Miami’s plans call for a 2,000-room hotel, a 16-story indoor ski slope, a 20-slide water park and more.
Hialeah is the sixth-largest city in the state, serving more than 224,000 residents in about 20 square miles. “The City of Progress” was incorporated in 1925 and is home to the Hialeah Park Racing & Casino (built in 1925). The park is undergoing a multi-staged full restoration, which will showcase an entertainment complex with a hotel, restaurants, casinos, stores and a theater.
Hialeah is home to a number of Cuban exiles. The city has a Hispanic population of more than 94 percent. Puerto Ricans, Mexicans and other Hispanic groups are moving into this diverse neighborhood.
This western Miami-Dade County suburb was the third-fastest growing city in the nation by percentage in 2014, according to the U.S. Census. Doral had a population of 54,116 on July 1, 2014, up 7 percent over the previous year.
Latinos, particularly those from Venezuela, have flocked to Doral, which is 80 percent Hispanic. Doral was the only city in the Top 15 on the east coast. Its growth is likely to continue as major mixed-use projects such as Downtown Doral and Doral CityPlace aim to attract more residents.
“City Beautiful” is one of the nation’s first fully-planned communities. Centrally located in Miami-Dade, Coral Gables is home to the historic Biltmore Hotel and various top restaurants, bars and retail locations. Miracle Mile, which is undergoing a $21 million renovation and street widening project, is a popular eating and shopping destination.
Because of its planning and location, home values in Coral Gables have skyrocketed. Many of the homes here are built in Mediterranean revival themes. Major developers are building in Coral Gables such as the Mediterranean Village, which will encompass almost seven acres a few blocks south of Miracle Mile. The $500 million project will include a high-end hotel with 184 rooms, 314,000 square-feet of office space, restaurants, retail, a gym and a cinema.
Coconut Grove is a popular bayside boating village near Coral Gables. Once the top retail destination in all of Miami, Coconut Grove is making a comeback. CocoWalk, the area’s top retail location, was recently purchased by Federal Realty, a publicly traded company based in Maryland.
Federal Realty also purchased The Shops at Sunset Place, a popular mall in South Miami. Federal Realty has plans to improve both malls, which are set in walkable, pedestrian friendly locales. Sunset Place is located three miles away from 100,000 people with an average household income of $120,000.
Pinecrest’s zip code (33156) has consistently ranked among the most expensive in the United States. The suburban village in south Miami-Dade County is known for its luxury real estate and top schools. Many celebrities and athletes own homes here.
The local high public school, Miami Palmetto, ranks among the best in the county. Large trees shade streets as families ride bicycles. The village is home to Pinecrest Gardens, a 20-acre botanical garden.
Located in south Miami-Dade, Homestead is between Biscayne National Park to the east and Everglades National Park to the west.
Home sales have increased in this community, which is also a major agricultural area. Foodies love Homestead as its home to Robert Is Here, Schnebly Redland's Winery & Brewery and Knaus Berry Farm.