Downtown Miami Real Estate: Realtor J. “Eddy” Martinez Takes Us To The Core Of The Melting Pot

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Multi-Lingual, and multi-culturally influenced, realtor Eddy Martinez is himself much like Downtown Miami.  Here are his insights on Downtown Miami, it’s real estate market, and its beconing qualities to people worldwide.

What local amenities does this area have to offer (parks, community center, recreation programs)?

Miami and Miami Beach offer rich and diverse cultural amenities and the neighborhoods within these two cities are unique unto themselves.

Downtown Miami and the Biscayne Corridor Neighborhood

There’s so much to see in the areas around downtown Miami, Brickell and the Biscayne Corridor, you could almost spend an entire vacation just exploring the sites and enjoying the outdoor lifestyle South Florida offers.  For example:

Gusman Center for the Fine Arts – Miami’s Beloved Cultural Center Since 1926
is tucked into Miami’s contemporary skyline — an enchanting Mediterranean courtyard with shimmering stars and golden balconies. Majestic turrets and towers suggest another era when performances were events and grand theaters provided a dreamlike escape from the modern world. The Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts is not just a “venue” – is the jewel of South Florida arts and entertainment facilities, affording South Florida’s diverse community and its international guests a unique cultural experience.

The Miami Art Museum was founded in 1996 as a contemporary art museum with a world-class permanent collection. This Miami museum is a must-see Miami attraction and will be even more spectacular in 2013 when a new museum opens as part of the new  29-acre Museum Park overlooking Biscayne Bay.  In addition to the museum, Museum Park will include public gardens and sculpture installations. Museum Park, a vibrant mix of green space and cultural offerings, is Miami’s urban redesign vision for the area now known as Bicentennial Park. This vital downtown park, a catalyst for the transformation of the district, is central to efforts to strengthen Greater Miami’s momentum as an emerging global capital.

Miami Science Museum – is home to many world-class exhibits featured on a rotating basis. Like the Miami Art Museum, the Miami Science Museum is also moving to Museum Park where it will be renamed the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, after one of South Florida biggest philanthropist families.

Bicentennial Park is located just north of Bayside Marketplace on the waterfront in Downtown Miami and was once the former site of the Port of Miami. The park is home to many Miami attractions including the annual Ultra Music Festival.  Visitors from all over the country flock to Miami to see events like Cirque du Soleil, a House of Terror Amusement Park and even a Presidential rally.

The Miami Circle – Discovered in 1998, the site consists of 24 holes cut into the limestone bedrock and once housed a permanent structure built by the Tequesta Indians. It may have been the capital structure of their village and is believed to be between 1700-2000 years old. The site is now a public park situated along the Miami River.

The Adrienne Arsht Center embraces excellence, celebrates differences, renews the spirit and engages diverse communities through the power of the performing arts.

Vizcaya Museum & GardensVizcaya was built by American industrialist James Deering in 1916 to serve as his winter vacation home. Today, it is one of the biggest must-see attractions in Miami, and gives visitors a peek into the lives of the super-wealthy during the 1920s.

Miami Children’s Museum – Located on Watson Island, mid-way between Miami and Miami Beach on the MacArthur Causeway, the Miami Children’s Museum offers children and the young at heart the opportunity to explore imaginations through educational play.

 

Miami Beach

Often called the “Billion Dollar Sandbar,” Miami Beach re-emerged on the international scene of “cool” in the ‘80s and ‘90s with the re-birth of the famous Art Deco District.  Divided into three sections – South Beach, Mid-Beach and North Beach, Miami Beach is largely walkable and is often called the “sun and fun capital of the world,” thanks to Jackie Gleason’s variety show which was broadcast from CBS studios here.

The Miami Beach Art Deco District is a U.S. historic district (designated as such on May 14, 1979) located in the heart of South Beach. The district is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Sixth Street to the south, Alton Road to the west, the Collins Canal and Dade Boulevard to the north. It contains an amazing collection of 960 historic buildings.

Flamingo Park, located in the heart of the Art Deco District offers an array of recreational activities set among grassy lawns and old trees. There are baseball and football stadiums,  basketball courts, racquet and handball courts, an eight-lane running track, a tennis center with 20 clay courts, a lap pool and a splash pool, showers, locker rooms and a pro shop.

Lincoln Road — Lincoln Road Mall is a pedestrian-only promenade and the epicenter of what’s happening in South Beach. Located between Alton Road and Washington Avenue, Lincoln Road offers unique shopping, sidewalk cafes, bars, galleries, and fine dining. People watching is also a favorite pastime.

New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy marks a new era for classical music with the inauguration of the institution’s first purpose-built home, an extraordinary new facility in the center of South Beach. Designed by Frank Gehry in close collaboration with the New World Symphony’s founder and artistic director Michael Tilson Thomas, New World Center opens up exciting new possibilities in the way music is taught, presented and experienced and dramatically advances New World Symphony’s mission to provide exceptional professional training for the gifted young music school graduates who are its Fellows.

BASS Museum of Art – The Bass Museum inspires and educates by exploring the connections between its historical collections and contemporary art. Permanent and rotating exhibitions present art in dynamic conversations spanning time, history and cultures. The Museum’s collection of Antiquities, Renaissance and Baroque art anchors rotating exhibitions and educational programs.

Wolfsonian FIU Museum – The Wolfsonian–Florida International University is a museum, library, and research center that uses objects to illustrate the persuasive power of art and design, to explore what it means to be modern, and to tell the story of social, historical, and technological changes that have transformed our world. The collections comprise approximately 120,000 objects from the period of 1885 to 1945—the height of the Industrial Revolution to the end of the Second World War—in a variety of media including furniture; industrial-design objects; works in glass, ceramics, and metal; rare books; periodicals; ephemera; works on paper; paintings; textiles; and medals.

Muss Park is a children’s park located in the Mid-Beach District. It features a variety of play structures, hopscotch boards, a log roll, a tot lot, rock climbing walls and telescopes. There are also basketball courts and a pavilion. The park is available for rental.

Fairway Park sits on a large, grassy tract off Normandy Shores Boulevard in North Beach. It features a recreation building for organized activities, two playgrounds, a tot lot, basketball and tennis courts, as well as shaded benches and picnic areas.

Miami Beach is also extremely dog friendly.  Whether on Lincoln Road or at one of the city’s six “Bark Parks”

 

So. Pointe Park – 1 Washington Ave

Belle Isle Park – Island Ave. on Belle Isle

Washington Avenue Bark Park – 201 2nd Street

Pinetree Bark Park -4400 Pinetree Drive

Flamingo Bark Park – 13th & Michigan

Can you describe the local school system, and what type of education children get here (private, public, charter – focus on sports, the arts, etc.)? 

Miami-Dade County Public Schools, America’s fourth-largest school system with a diverse enrollment of more than 340,000 students from over 100 countries, offers innovative educational programs at its 435 schools, including elementary, middle, senior high schools and alternative, specialized and vocational centers. Students and their families have an active voice in choosing learning opportunities that foster academic excellence, school-to-career pathways and real-world learning.

With 340 programs, including 90 magnet schools, the Miami-Dade school district has one of the largest choice programs in the United States. The impressive array of course offerings include renowned bilingual schools, international baccalaureate programs, schools in the workplace, and a convenient downtown commuter school designed for working parents.

What is the community culture like (i.e. private, gated, urban, diverse, etc)

Miami City Ballet (MCB) is among the largest ballet companies in the United States, with more than 40 dancers and a fiscal year 2012-2013 budget of approximately $13.6 million.

Wynwood ART WALK   takes place every Second Saturday monthly from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. The gallery walk is free and open to the public. Galleries and public institutions open their doors for this artistic encounter as entertainment, cocktails and more spill onto the streets as gatherers enjoy the vibrant and creative atmosphere. The Wynwood Art District extends approximately from North Miami Avenue to I-95 and runs from 10th to 36th Street. Wynwood Arts District is home to over 50 galleries, artist studios, art complexes, and museum collections.

Miami Design District is located just north of Wynwood on Biscayne Blvd and 40th Street in Miami. The Miami Design District is an 18-block neighborhood with over 127 galleries, restaurants and stores to explore. This historic district has a rich architecture with design companies, upscale furniture stores, and art galleries being the main attractions. The best international brands are represented in the district, including Fendi, Poltrona Frau and Kartel.

Spending a few hours in the design district is highly recommended in order to see a large variety of unique art deco buildings, visit the interesting stores, and stop by for a quick lunch in one of the local restaurants. Numerous art fairs are periodically held in the district and more notoriously during the famous Art Basel exhibition in December.

The free SoundScape Cinema Series and WallCast Concerts turn the New World Center’s park in Miami Beach into a grassy mecca for culture lovers.  Just before 8 p.m. on a Wednesday night in South Beach, hundreds of friends, couples and families gather in a grassy park just north of Lincoln Road. Some come with dogs, others with strollers, all navigating the curvilinear sidewalks that slice into the lawn to claim their plot of grass with beach blankets and picnics. The gently undulating topography mimics the Atlantic Ocean, only a few blocks east.

What is transportation like to the area’s major surrounding cities, or within the city?

Metrorail has stops throughout Miami with connections to Miami International Airport, all Metrobus lines, Tri-Rail and Amtrak. The main bus station in Downtown is located next to the Arsht Center at the Adrienne Arsht Center Station. As an urban and pedestrian-friendly area with an extensive public transit network, Downtown (along with Brickell, Omni, and South Beach) is one of the areas in Miami where a car-free lifestyle is commonplace. Many Downtown residents get around by foot, bicycle, Metromover or by taxi. The Metromover is a popular alternative to walking in the area, especially on rainy, hot or cold days, as the Metromover is free, and stations are located roughly every two blocks throughout the area.

Recently, the City of Miami and the City of Miami Beach have begun bicycle initiatives promoting city-wide bike parking and bike lanes, that have made bicycling much more popular for residents.

Tri-Rail expansion

In the 2025 and 2030 long range transportation plans, Miami’s commuter rail system, Tri-Rail, has envisioned moving to or adding service on the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) corridor, which runs along the region’s densest neighborhoods, parallel to Biscayne Boulevard in Miami, and Federal Highway in Broward and Palm Beach counties.

Tri-Rail service on the FEC line would bring Tri-Rail to Downtown’s transit hub, Government Center Station, connecting Downtown directly to Midtown Miami/Miami DesignDistrict, Upper East Side/Miami Shores, North Miami, North Miami Beach/Aventura.

Taxis

Taxis are popular especially from Downtown to South Beach, Design District or to Coconut Grove. Since many Downtown residents choose to not have cars, taxis are also popular for rides within Downtown neighborhoods, especially after midnight when the Metromover stops running. Taxis can be hailed on the street, or phoned.

Is there a strong political presence or community leader involvement in this area? 

As a true melting pot of cultures and beliefs from around the world, we are a diverse and passionate community.  Political and civic leans span from left to right and when an election comes up, you can count on spirited debate.  Whatever your beliefs or political affiliations are, you will find it easy to identify and establish relationships to causes that you hold dear.

Are there any local traditions that bring the community together? (sports events, charity events, sales, holiday celebrations)?

Again, because of the diversity of the region, many of our local traditions are imported from somewhere else and “Miami-fied.”  Art Basel from Switzerland brings the world of art collectors to Miami Beach and the mainland for an insane week of art and parties.  Calle Ocho takes over 8th Street with a Carnival like Latin/Caribbean street festival.  Miami Beach Gay Pride brings the LGBT community and their friends to Ocean Drive each April for the largest, single-day event in Miami Beach.  And then there’s everything in between.

What is the job market like or major industries that are at the core of this area?

Downtown is South Florida’s main hub for finance, commerce and international business. Brickell Avenue has the largest concentration of international banks in the U.S.  Downtown is home to many companies, corporations and organizations.  Miami Beach is a hub for entrepreneurs and creative industries, such as fashion, art and photography.

Downtown Miami has about 20,000,000 square feet of office space, and is the central financial and business hub of South Florida. Some private companies with headquarters in Downtown are Akerman Senterfitt, Arquitectonica, Espírito Santo Financial Group, Florida Justice Institute, Greenberg Traurig, Holland & Knight, Limehouse Software, Macy’s Florida, Miami Herald, Miami Today, Shutts & Bowen, Terremark Worldwide, Vector Group, World Property Channel, and Zyscovich Architects. Sanford Group Company and Sanford Fiduciary Investor Services, Inc., and LTU International had headquarters in Downtown.

What are some thriving small local businesses that make an impact in the community?

The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and kicking in Miami and Miami Beach, especially on the Beach.  From art to high tech endeavors, the climate for thriving small business is as bright and sunny as the tropical climate itself.

What are the local property taxes like and what other financial responsibilities should a property owner in this area be prepared for?  

While our property taxes are a bit higher than elsewhere in the country, there are no state income taxes in Florida, so a homeowner usually comes out ahead.  The tax rate is approximately 2 % but varies by neighborhood and is based on the home’s assessed value which is usually lower than market value.  We have a wonderful website that outlines the tax duties at

http://www.miamidade.gov/proptax/

 

Please note any Key Listings you have in your area:

 

Marquis Tower

Worldwide Properties exclusively represents a public company abroad which holds a portfolio of 20 condominiums in the ultra-chic Marquis Tower in downtown Miami.  The condos are located just across from Miami’s Bicentennial Park and Museum Park, home to the new Miami Art Museum which is currently under construction.

The ultra luxury condos boast private elevator lobbies and modern, sleek kitchens equipped with Viking appliances and marble finishes. Modern baths with Duravit and Starck fixtures and floating bay view showers make these condos highly desirable residences in downtown.

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Icon 1201

Absolutely stunning corner 01 residence commanding breathtaking views of Biscayne Bay, Fisher Island, the Atlantic Ocean, Miami skyline and parading cruise ships. No expense was spared in this meticulous upgrade, form the completely remodeled kitchen & baths, to the BMW metallic paint finishes on the elevator/lobby doors! Exotic mosaic baths are complimented by serene sunsets. Exquisitely appointed interiors by designers with the finest furnishings and technology make this the perfect turnkey home.

Miami real estate is flourishing, and its posh gated communities — such as Fisher Island, Star Island, and the Venetian Islands— are attracting ultra wealthy buyers. Adding to its allure are Miami’s sophistication and culture. While wealthy Russian and Latin American buyers are swooping up a large percentage of Miami’s real estate, North America is also well represented, with Wall Street millionaires purchasing luxury condos and avoiding New York taxes.

Here, Haute Residence gives you an inside look at some of the most enviable Miami luxury condos.

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