Why invest in Miami?


When people talk about Miami, what usually comes to mind is South Beach with its great year-round weather, gorgeous beaches, pulsing nightlife, top restaurants, Lincoln Road, and Ocean Drive. However, with the recent development north of South Beach and the addition of 23,000 condos in Downtown Miami over the last 8 years, Miami is becoming more and more gentrified, making it an increasingly fitting place to have either a permanent residence or a second or third home. The brightest spot in the Miami market, however, is Downtown Miami, which is finally becoming a vibrant city in and of itself.

Miami Ranked #9 in Major North American Cities of the Future by fDi Intelligence


fDi Intelligence (Foreign Direct Investment) is a specialist division of the Financial Times that published “American Cities of the Future” which ranked New York City #1 and Miami #9 among the leading North American cities of the future. fDi analyzes the cross-border greenfield investment for each city as part of their analysis. New York and Miami ranked well given the large number of foreign direct investment projects that have occurred in the city over the past few years. This will no doubt continue. Miami also ranked very highly in the following areas within the analysis:

#2   Business Friendliness

#3   Foreign Direct Investment Strategy

#10 Infrastructure

New York ranked #1 in Economic Potential; #1 in Human Resources; #1 in Infrastructure; #8 in FDI Strategy; and #1 in Business Friendliness.

Miami is a true international destination

Nowhere else in the US are 45% of all visitors from abroad. The top 5 countries from which visitors came in 2010 are:

  1. Canada
  2. Brazil
  3. Argentina
  4. Columbia
  5. Germany

South Americans make up 66% of international visitors to the region, led by:

  1. Brazil
  2. Argentina
  3. Colombia
  4. Venezuela

Europeans make up approximately 25% of the international visitors to the region, led by:

  1. Germany
  2. England
  3. France
  4. Netherlands
  5. Switzerland
  6. Sweden

Miami is also a top domestic destination, with visitors coming from all across the country. The top 5 cities from which visitors came in 2010 were:

  1. New York
  2. Philadelphia
  3. Chicago
  4. Boston
  5. Atlanta

Notably, New Yorkers make up 25% of all domestic visitors!

Miami is a large city with diverse industry

Miami is the 7th most populous center with an estimated population of 5.5 million people. In 2009 UBS ranked Miami as the 5th richest city in the world based on purchasing power. Miami also ranks 11th in the US when it come to GDP.

While tourism continues to be one of Miami’s principal industries, Miami is a major center in finance, commerce, culture, media, entertainment, the arts and international trade.

  • Miami has the largest concentration of foreign banks.
  • Miami has 1,400 Latin American Headquarters of multinational corporations.
  • Miami is a major television production center and the most important in the US for Spanish-language media.
  • Miami is a major music recording center.
  • Miami International Airport ranks among US airports as follows: 1st in International Freight; 2nd in International Passengers; 3rd in Total Freight; and 12th in Total Passengers.
  • The Port of Miami is one of the busiest ports in all of the US.

Miami Beach has undergone a renewal

Miami Beach has been one of the nation’s pre-eminent waterfront resorts for nearly a century and has long been a second-home choice for the rich and famous, first with its waterfront mansions and more recently with its luxury condos. More recently, a huge transformation has taken place on Miami Beach, most notably, north of South Beach all the way to Hollywood Beach. This transformation has made more of Miami Beach (and its environs) a great place to have a permanent residence or a second or third home.

As is well known, South Beach attracts a very international crowd, so property prices are generally much higher on the “The Beach” than Downtown, since demand is international and supply is constrained. For instance, the South of Fifth neighborhood at the southernmost tip is the most expensive area on the island where prices start at $500K and go all the way up to $8 million (or $2,000 psf and $21,528 psm) for a top condo at Apogee. There are, however, less expensive options with the many Art Deco buildings in the central South Beach area that is protected from development. Prices here are quite reasonable (mostly under $500K) and the area is protected from development.

Areas north of South Beach have developed such that they are now viable alternatives to owning in South Beach. Take, for instance, Mid-Beach, which has added a number of great oceanfront properties such as the Gansevoort ResidencesCaribbean, newly-imported British hotspot SoHo Beach House, and the refurbished Fontainebleau and Eden Roc hotels.

Farther north, Bal Harbour has regained its standing with the addition of the gorgeous One Bal Harbour and the new ultra-luxurious St. Regis Bal Harbour Hotel and Residences, set to open at the beginning of 2012.

Finally, even the area north of Bal Harbour has become a viable option for many with the addition of some of the most cutting-edge buildings in South Florida –  Jade Beach and Jade Ocean – or the more reasonably priced Trump Towers. Even Hollywood, a few more miles north, is an option for many now, with the arrival of the Westin Diplomat Hotel and Residences, Trump Hollywood, and the brand new pre-construction luxury development of Apogee Beach, which starts at only $375 per sq. ft. (or $4,036 psm).

Downtown Miami is Evolving into a 24-7 World Class City

Downtown Miami is finally becoming relevant as it evolves into an entirely new city with a landscape of cutting-edge skyscrapers. In fact, Downtown Miami is now emerging as one of the country’s fastest growing urban centers, the product of significant increases in population growth and commercial activity over the past two years.

  • With over 23,000 condos and more than 78 buildings constructed in the last eight years, Downtown Miami has undergone a real renaissance.
  • A few of these buildings, like EpicIcon Brickell900 BiscayneMarquis, and the yet-to-be-released Paramount Bay, are among the very top buildings in South Florida.
  • More than 70,000 people now live in Downtown Miami, up a whopping 80% from 10 years ago, with the population expected to grow to 85,000 by 2014 when the remaining new housing inventory is absorbed.
  • Now that most of the inventory has been absorbed, there are new projects sprouting up that will likely take the city to another level.

What was once considered a 9-to-5 employment-only district now is an emerging vibrant 24-7 city filled with restaurants, entertainment and cultural experiences. Since 2008, 120 new businesses have opened in Downtown Miami, joining new luxury hotels like the Kimpton EPIC Hotel, Viceroy Miami, Tempo Miami, and the world’s first JW Marriott Marquis. In addition, unlike in most of the country, three new commercial towers have risen in Downtown.

This is a compelling argument for investors to consider Downtown Miami because one of the most important outcomes of the residential boom for the city is that Downtown Miami is increasingly becoming a destination, and with that will come economic growth that will, in turn, fuel further development. It’s a self-fulfilling cycle that will lead to the establishment of the world-class city that Florida always lacked.

For more information on Miami economic developments, follow our Miami Blog.