May 9, 2016 | Modern Luxury
The Miami of today isn’t just for the transplanted senior set. Rather, the city’s growing intellectual elite recognize they need not suffer another godforsaken winter when sunshine is a 2 ½-hour flight away. Thanks to a flourishing financial sector, restaurant and nightlife hub, modern art scene, tech startups and a mecca for some seriously sexy starchitecture (from Renzo piano and Cesar Pelli to Herzog and de Meuron), young professionals, new families, financial types and creative are being seduced by the Magic City. And that’s without mention of Florida’s zero percent personal income tax.
Just how big is the city’s real estate game? “I know five people between the ages of 28 and 35 who relocated to Miami,” says broker Susie Glass of Douglas Elliman. “The past few years of terrible snowstorms sealed the deal. The quality of life is better when it comes to space and privacy, and for less money.” David Martin, one part of the father-son Terra Group development team, agrees: “In the past 15 years, the city really improved infrastructurewise, which reflects quality of life. It’s not just a drink tank-it’s now a think tank”
An explosion in art and culture has also helped growth immensely. “People still recall the Miami of the ‘50s and ‘60s-grandmas rocking in front of the old hotels,” says real estate tycoon Richard Lefrak. “Now you have this fantastic amalgamation of art, Latin and Caribbean culture, music and sport teams attached to a great beach resort. There’s nothing like it to this extent in the U.S.” Echoing the sentiment is Miami’s own Brett Ratner, the Hollywood director and producer who grew up in Little Havana. “Miami has changed tremendously since I was a kid; not just because of the development, but because of the art,” he says. “I knew every single person in Miami Beach, and now I don’t recognize anyone. That’s exciting.”
Ready to donate your winterwear and relocate South? You’ll be a big fish in a small pond soon enough, says Elliman’s Glass. “In Miami, you can become fairly successful in a hurry if you’re smart and driven because it’s a young city. There’s not a lot of old money or talent that’s been here long.