Jason Belisario and Benjamin Frisbee Discuss The Emerging Edgewater Neighborhood

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Goldmine, untouched and unknown are three words to describe the developing neighborhood of Edgewater. This neighborhood is emerging as one of the most sought-after real estate areas in Miami. The "Golden Pocket" community is growing in value and is becoming a main attraction for those looking to relocate to Miami. Jason Belisario sat down with Haute Residence for an inside look on where to find the best real estate in Edgewater.

What makes Edgewater so special?

The sheer amount of planned and in progress developments coming to Edgewater makes this market very exciting for investors and millennial residents alike.

What advice would you give buyers looking to invest in /move to Edgewater?

Talk to an expert in the area and do research on the newer buildings that are selling for below comparable property prices. Also, become acquainted with the developers of the buildings to find out how reputable they are, and whether or not they are known for making buildings that have great resale value. For example, the Related Group has been known to develop high-quality buildings that have stood the test of time. Also, they have given good returns to the people that bought into their buildings during the pre-construction phase. Knowing who the good developers are and where they are building is a good way to make money on the buy. In Edgewater, with so much yet to be built. The area is ripe with opportunity.

What are the best drinking, dining and shopping spots in your market?

Alter is an industrial, new American style restaurant with an incredible tasting menu. Alter is within a mile of Edgewater in the westward direction. Edgewater itself does not have an established food scene yet, but this problem is quickly forgotten when you try the fantastic options that the nearby Wynwood area has to offer. Edgewater’s shopping scene is not established. You have The Shops at Midtown which is a stone throw from the main Edgewater area. For higher end shopping, you have the famous and chic design district close by.

What real estate trends in the market have you seen in the last 5 years and what trends do you predict in the next 5?

In the last 5 years, the Edgewater market has been slowly but surely catching up in price to its established neighbors. This is mostly due to zoning changes that allowed for larger buildings to be built in the area.

Besides the Turkish market, there is less overall demand than previous years for Miami real estate from foreign buyers. Thankfully, this is compensated for by the influx of North Eastern buyers from the US. New Yorkers in particular, look for a second home in Miami or even a first home when they are relocating to the south.

We believe that in the next 5 years, this area will grow as an investment market. Neighborhoods like Edgewater, Midtown, Wynwood, and The Design District all have tremendous value propositions when it comes to location. They each have something the other does not and are so close to one another that they are commonly thought of as one. Big name developers are working on and completing large scale projects in these areas such as Wynwood 25 and Paraiso District.

While still centrally located, these areas have noticeably lower prices per square foot than the more established neighborhoods such as South Beach, Downtown, and Brickell.

We think that informed investors will see this as an opportunity to get in on the emerging markets in this golden pocket, that sits between the Julia Tuttle and McArthur Causeways before they fully evolve.

What do you think is the appeal of Edgewater and why so many people are choosing to move here?

As with everything in real estate: location, location, location. We call this area the golden pocket. If you look on a map, it is perfectly nested in between 3 major highways. I-95, the 112 (which turns into the Julia Tuttle Causeway), and the 836 (which turns into the McArthur Causeway).

With real estate, the lowest priced properties in the inventory are the ones that move first. Simply put, it is cheaper to live in Edgewater than it is to live in Downtown or Brickell. Also, you are more centrally located relative to the Miami art, food, and night life hot spots. Finally, you aren’t sacrificing quality of living if you choose Edgewater.

Edgewater houses great buildings built by reputable developers. This allows Edgewater to truly compete against other neighborhoods.

Describe the quality and style of living to those looking to move to Edgewater?

People looking to move to Edgewater should expect high quality in the newer apartment buildings. It's important to keep in mind that these buildings are all new. All of them are loaded with amenities that are well maintained. As stated numerous times throughout this q&a, an Edgewater resident has incredible proximity to the best Miami has to offer in Design District, Wynwood, Downtown/Brickell and of course, Miami Beach. Also, it is important to note that from the center of Edgewater, these locations are between 1-2 miles away. This makes Edgewater an extremely undervalued and attractive destination for those looking to move to Miami.

What are the top 3 things you would recommend to someone looking to relocate here? 

Don’t be afraid to move to an up-and-coming neighborhood. People usually aren’t attracted to neighborhoods that everyone doesn’t talk about. It is not uncommon for people to ask “where is Edgewater?” We think this is one of the best parts of this neighborhood.

It is quiet and attracts minimal traffic compared to its more busy neighbors. The fact that no one knows about it makes the residents of Edgewater feel like they know something others don’t, which makes any area extremely attractive.

For investors and residents alike, move quickly before its too late. Comparable property prices are creeping up on Downtown and Brickell. The views from Edgewater blow most Brickell views out of the water, while still being around one to two thirds cheaper.

For investors, resale value on the Edgewater units will be high. Like we said earlier, world-class developers are now building in the area. The more of these that come along, the more stable Edgewater prices become. Luxury apartment rental prices for 1 and 2 bedrooms are extremely competitive with Downtown and Brickell. Moreover, in some cases, having better views and finishes in the units.

For those who are more into land assembly deals and holding lots for future sale to developers, Edgewater is a goldmine. Take a drive through Biscayne Boulevard or NE 2nd Ave and observe the sheer number of empty lots, parking lots, and run down commercial spaces along the streets. There are also a good amount of smaller buildings directly on the water that will eventually be bought out and torn down. We urge any investors reading to take advantage and move quickly. The future of development in Edgewater is crystal clear to us, and we want you, as investors, not to waste this opportunity.

How did you get started in Real Estate?

We took a trip to Mexico with close friends of ours. They had a relative that was extremely involved in the development of modern-day Acapulco. As we heard stories of how this area changed over the years, we fell in love with how living and work spaces impact the people of an area. We flew back home and immediately started the process to get licensed.

What sets you apart from the competition?

We simply love what we do. As young partners of Haute Residence, and some of the youngest, if not the youngest agents at ONE Sotheby’s, we take the weight of these brands extremely serious. We have surrounded ourselves with highly skilled and experienced mentors that work with us to make sure every step we take for our clients is in their best interest.

Every deal to us is important. We treat everyone the same whether you’re looking for a $1,500/m rental or a multimillion dollar property. For us, every deal is an opportunity to grow and gain recognition in this community for stellar customer service.

What sets Miami real estate apart from the rest of the world?

Miami sells itself. There is a place for anyone and everyone in this city. For residents, the lifestyle available in this city is unmatched in the US. Take a look at photos of downtown Miami in 2004. A third of the current buildings existed at the time. Miami is a brand new city. Drive through Downtown, Little Haiti, Wynwood and Edgewater and you will see that there are empty lots and huge renovation projects everywhere. Miami real estate is so exciting because we are still at the beginning of the epic narrative that is the story of this great city.

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