When Ana Grimaldi and her husband, Lucio, moved from New York to Miami six years ago, they already had a young son. But instead of looking in a suburb, the couple chose to settle in Brickell, basically to be closer to Lucio’s work. Today, the couple has two children, ages 8 and 3, and they still live in the same Brickell apartment building.
“When we moved years ago we felt like pioneers because Brickell was not a family-oriented place,” said Grimaldi, 39. “At that time, it was the financial district, but all that has changed dramatically, there are more places and activities for children, in many of the new buildings there are preschools, it is a safe environment for children, something very important for parents. And they can grow up in an urban neighborhood that has a sense of community.”
The idea of raising a family in the urban center of downtown – with apartment buildings, heavy traffic, and entertainment aimed at adults, such as nightclubs and restaurants – may have seemed crazy for years. But a new demographic analysis of the downtown area of Miami by the Development Authority of Downtown Miami (DDA), with information from the US Census, shows that the population in the area is in a record of 92,235 people, a rise of 65 percent compared to the period from 2000 to 2010. The figure is projected to increase another 19 per cent by 2021 when the population of the area is projected to reach 109,617.
Professionals 25 and 44 are the largest group in downtown, 45 percent of the inhabitants. But the number of people aged 14 and younger has increased 53 percent since 2010, to a total of 11,484 at this time. The number of family units has increased 42 percent to 47,958. A greater number of children means a higher demand for schools. Although there are enough elementary and middle schools in the area with space to accommodate hundreds of students, the need for a secondary school will intensify in the coming years.
Aссоrdіng tо DDA’s fourth quаrtеr 2017 figures, the average rent for аn apartment іn downtown Mіаmі wаѕ $2,525, a 4 реrсеnt dесrеаѕе соmраrеd tо 2016. The аvеrаgе rеѕаlе price fоr thе apartments wаѕ $405 per squаrе foot, hіghеr thаn in Avеnturа ($352), Cоrаl Gables ($274) аnd Dоrаl ($191). Onlу Miami Bеасh beat downtown with a price of $1,025 реr square fооt.
In its annual list of the 15 best cities to walk in the United States, WalkScore ranked Miami in sixth place, ahead of Seattle, Philadelphia, Chicago and Washington DC – and specifically cited the neighborhoods of Wynwood, Edgewater, and downtown. But Carlo Rosso, president of the condominium division of urban developer The Related Group, said things can get much better. For example, it supports the Biscayne Line, a proposed pedestrian route that would connect Edgewater with downtown and Brickell.
“You’ve already seen what places like New York have done with the High Line,” the elevated public park in the west side of Manhattan, Rosso said. “People start using spaces where you can run and ride on weekends because when you live in an apartment, you have less space.”