The Miami River’s Reputation is on an Upswing
As time passed the Miami River’s value was almost forgotten. The shoreline of the river consisted mostly of small, rundown shipyards, bait shops, and low-value marinas with no upkeep. Water was filled with oil build up. Falling apart boats and piers filled the water with debris. Once an integral part of the rum-running operations during the Prohibition, the river was a hot spot for traffickers and Coast Guard shoot-outs. The excitement on the Miami River peaked in 1985 as a group of corrupt police officers came across a vessel carrying $9 million worth of cocaine and decided to keep the goods rather than report them.
Luckily investors were wise enough to see past the run down river and it’s less than honest past. The river within the Brickell neighborhood is undergoing exciting changes – and ones for the better. Development near the Miami River’s shore is focused on luxury condominium towers, prestigious restaurants, shopping centers, and so much more.
“The Miami River is hot,” stated Alicia Cervera Lamadrid. Lamadrid’s firm is working with sales for the Aston Martin Residences. One of the new constructions along the river, a 66-story tower. When the market along the river opened up, the bidding shot up quickly, a fierce battle of cash to win the prized land. An Argentine developer bought the land for $125 million, setting records for a per-acre price in South Florida. They’ll see a return on investment with the Aston Martin taking interest in the luxury real estate – the units going for $50 million.
The Aston Martin condos are just one of the new projects underway along the river. There is also a 25,000 seat soccer stadium being built just north of the area. The decision for the build was announced by Major League Soccer officials being led by the famous former soccer player, David Beckham.
Horacio S. Aguirre, who is the chairman of the Miami River Commission, gave some insight into why the river area had been left undeveloped for so long, by explaining the river’s reputation as a “slummy no man’s land” and being known for its “dead bodies, floating cars and nefarious activities”. Investors were afraid of little to no return on investments, especially with other higher value land in the area.
The commission for improvement of the river has been in the process since 1998, as workers cleared the river of wreckage and debris. After the river was cleaned up, city workers spent 4 years deepening the river – which put $89 million into the project. As the river area was cleaned up and available land in South Florida was scooped up, developers turned to the Miami River with fresh eyes.
Along the south side of the river a huge $1 billion multi-purpose complex, Brickell City Center, recently opened November of 2016. It features a shopping center, luxury condos, a hotel, and offices.