Where The City Meets to Shore: Realtor Ines Hegedus-Garcia on Brickell and Fisher Island Real Estate

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The hustle and bustle of the city contrasted by the gentle lapping of waves again the shoreline drives home the stark contrast of Miami areas Brickell and Fisher Island Real Estate. Realtor Ines Hegedus-Garcia tells us just how different they are, and the qualities that make each an amazing place to live. 

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

The Brickell Area of Miami is better known as Miami’s Financial District and is located just south of Downtown Miami, separated by the Miami River.  Brickell is comprised of mostly high-rise buildings and is known as a walkable community supplemented by the amazing metro-mover as public transportation.  Brickell has it all, shopping and restaurants at Mary Brickell Village, parks like Simpson Park Hammock, Brickell Park, and the historic Miami Circle – Archeological site built by The Tequesta Indians.  There is also Brickell Key which is a community of its own with parks, shopping, and condos.  There are currently some great projects being built in the area of Brickell which will make this an even better community.

Fisher Island is a private island only accessible by private ferry and helicopter.  It’s a luxurious residential community with its own hotel and resort, golf-course, tennis center, spa and fitness center, 2 world-class marinas, restaurants, commercial center with market and shopping, a polo field, private beaches, playground, post office, on-island fire and emergency station and seaplane, car-ferry and helicopter access 24-hours a day.

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

The Brickell area has an array of different schools for both primary and secondary education.  Schools include:  Southside Elementary which is a magnet school, Ada Merritt Elementary School, Riverside Elementary School,  La Prima Casa Montessori, Champs Pre-school, International Christian School (k-8th grade), and Mater Brickell Prep Academy among others.  Like the rest of Miami, there are many public, magnet, charter and private schools to choose from.  For information on public schools, please visit http://www.dadeschools.net/

Fisher Island has The Fisher Island Day School that serves Pre-K to 5th grade.  Residents leave the island for private, magnet and charter schools around Miami or attend Miami Beach High School.  For information on public schools, please visit http://www.dadeschools.net/

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

Brickell is Urban life at its best.  It defines Miami with its diverse culture and residents are loyal to the area and support local business.  But remember that it is vertical living with some lower density buildings, but most will be high-rise condos.  It has evolved from the 1980’s and popular with South Americans and young professionals.  Now people come to live, work and shop without having to leave downtown Miami.

Fisher Island is exclusive and private.  There are no roads connecting the mainland or Miami Beach to the island, so Ferry is the most common method of access.  Once inside the island, residents commute with golf-carts and have all the privacy and security they desire.

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

If you live in Brickell, you really do not need a car, but because Miami is a Metropolitan hub, most people will have one.  Public transportation includes the metro-mover which is an elevated mono-rail system.  Since it is the city’s financial district, expect rush hour traffic in the main arteries of The Brickell area.  Locals get used to the Brickell Draw Bridge that connects downtown and Brickell that can hold them up for 15-20 minutes at any given time during the day.

Fisher Island’s access, as we explained before, is via boat ferry.  You can expect access to the island to take between 30-40 minutes depending on the time of day.  Once out of the island, McCarthur Causeway will take you to Miami Beach if you head east or Miami if you head west.

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

We chose not to discuss politics or religion in Miamism – our clients are diverse and we rather not limit or make statements that can be misconstrued as offensive.

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

There are smaller local events like The Taste of Brickell which is a day of fun, music and great local food sponsored by restaurants and  private businesses.  There’s a Sunday market at Mary Brickell Village featuring handmade crafts, art jewelry plus a farmer’s market.  There’s the Brickell Art walk on the last Tuesday of each month.  The Miami Critical Mass event the last Friday of the month starting at Government Center.  The beauty of Brickell is that it is close to so many other places and can enjoy events held all over Miami.

Fisher island offers social activities for its residents planned throughout the year.  Events include sports tournaments, cultural events, theme parties and other social functions.

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

Brickell is known as Miami’s financial district, and referred by many as “the Manhattan of The South”.  It is known for the amount of international banks, major law firms and hotel chains amongst other things.

Fisher Island is not known for any major industry.  Because of its privacy, residents that live there year-round will commute outside of the island.  But a lot of Fisher Island owners will be second home and vacation owners.

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

Mary Brickell Village has brought life back to the Brickell Area in the past few years.  With restaurants and small shops, and ease of transportation, it defines the center of the area for both day and evening activities.

 Local businesses include restaurants, commercial center with a market and hotel/resort which is popular internationally.

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

Miami residents can expect to pay an average of 2.2% in property taxes per year.  As a primary resident you will have the option of “homesteading” your property which will protect you from taxes being increased at a maximum of 3% per year.  Second home owners will not have that privilege.  We always recommend that you visit miamidade.gov and input a property address within Miami-Dade County to find out exactly what the property taxes are.

 In addition to the property taxes, Fisher Island will have a Fisher Island Club Membership open to non-property owners as well.  The costs are a one time initiation fee of $25,000 and annual dues of $19,300, per family.  This will give access and privileges to the Beach Club, use of The Links Golf Club, the tennis center, spa, restaurants, marinas and member events.  There is also an optional annual golf membership for an additional feel.  An Equity membership is available to Fisher Island property owners and limited number of non-property owners and represents an equity ownership in the club.  The cost is an equity contribution of $250,000 with annual dues of $18,300.  This equity membership will give privileges of the club membership above plus an equity ownership, discounts on resort accommodations, preferred golf fees and marina rates as well as other benefits.

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