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It is a well-known fact that development in Brickell has skyrocketed since the turn of the century. All you have to do to verify this is take a promenade throughout the district and you’ll notice the numerous hardhats, heavy equipment, and projects in progress found in the area. A 2013 npr report found that 25 to 30 towers were in the planning or development stage for Brickell, many of which you can find information about by clicking here. The recent surge of growth in Brickell can be attributed to multiple factors, all of which are discussed below.
First and foremost, Florida’s, and by extension Miami’s, conservative economic policies spur growth rather than hinder it. The city of Miami does not resist development, as opposed to other cities found across the United States. The policies in place encourage real estate development projects, which has ultimately led to massive housing and office projects in the recent years. In addition to this, the absence of income tax in Florida and the low per capita tax rate, which is the nation’s 4th lowest, has much facilitated this progress. This, in turn, has also steered Brickell to become an international banking center. Brickell alone houses 53 banks, and on top of that many more international finance firms (which focus on development across seas), all which has resulted in Brickell being considered a global finance capital. Considering the points aforementioned, it makes sense that the finance industry, in conjunction with the real estate and insurance industries, account for 17% of the jobs in Brickell.
Given these factors, it should not come as a surprise that the population in Brickell has more than doubled to 28,000 since the early 2000s. This influx in people has come from all around the world, but a large percentage relocated from Latin America and New York. In Brickell, 2/3 of the demands for units come from South America, many of which are investors who are interested in acquiring assets or purchasing ‘getaway homes’. There is such a large demand in Miami from Latin Americans due to the fact that the vast majority of the population speaks Spanish. As for New Yorkers, maybe it’s the warm climate, because between 2009 and 2013, 22,000 of them moved to Miami. Lisa Selin Davis, from realtor.com, described the arrival of New Yorkers as “the Manhattanization of Miami: the skyscrapers, the prices,” both of which we have seen naught but rise. Many snow birds are purchasing homes in Brickell and this is the route cause of seeing more mobility scooters & power wheelchairs driving around on the sidewalks. Companies like Mobility Scooters Direct have stated their sales are increasing primarily from residents from the North East despite being located in South Florida.
However, the reasons for Brickell’s development go further than the ones described above. It’s the buzzing culture, the beaches and tropical climate, the nightlife, and exquisite restaurants. As Scott Beyer phrased it in his article on Forbes.com, “Brickell has arguably surpassed downtown [Miami] in cultural significance… there is something about Brickell that much personifies the new Miami: it is rich, multicultural, and intensive, having become an “overnight neighborhood” of gleaming skyscrapers whose designs and coloration reflect the coral blue waters of Biscayne Bay.”