July 20, 2016
Over the past five years in Miami, the up-and-coming arts district of Wynwood has been undergoing a major transformation from a gritty hangout for local artists to a trendy mecca of street art and commercial galleries. However, if you drive just a few blocks north and under the I-195 Highway bridge, you will stumble onto another promising flourishing Miami neighborhood: the Design District. The Design District is centered around an open-air shopping center on 38th and 39th Street between North Miami and Northeast 2nd Avenues.
Now, the Design District may not be attracting as many camera-wielding sightseers and other non-locals as Wynwood is. But, this emerging neighborhood is definitely making similar strides, when compared to any growing area in Miami, towards becoming a major cultural center. That’s because the Design District is a rapidly growing hub for ultra high-end retail and is aiming to become the Rodeo Drive of the East – and some would say it’s already there. Chic stores, swanky eateries, art galleries, showrooms, and more are popping up by the second in this 18 square block neighborhood. Currently, these narrow strips are tightly packed with towering high-end shops such as Tom Ford, Tiffany, Givenchy, Rolex, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Versace, Marc Jacobs, and many more.
Although the Design District is impressively glitzy now, as recently as the early 1990’s, the area had fallen into complete decay. Basically, the Design District was nothing more than a vast, decrepit expanse of rundown, low-rise warehouses. The neighborhood was literally devoid of industry and culture. But, in the early 2000’s – thanks to generous public and private investment – the Design District underwent a massive transformation. The streets and sidewalks were given a complete makeover, new trees were planted, and top designers and artists began to relocate to the area as planned. Today, the Design District is home to over 130 luxury shops, galleries, restaurants & bars, architecture firms, and more – and is considered to be Miami’s premier destination for luxury shopping and fine dining.
In 2009, French footwear designer Christian Louboutin became the first luxury retailer to open in Miami’s Design District. This definitely marked the start of a new era for the neighborhood. Since then, over 70 new stores have opened in the neighborhood, including Hermes’ three-story flagship store which opened in 2015. In addition, there are more than 60 new stores slated to open by mid-2017. This includes legendary fashion giant Gucci, who announced plans to open a 7,000 square foot flagship store of its own in the area in 2017. According to Gucci president and CEO Marco Bizzarri, “We want to be where collectors, style influencers and cultural creatives come together, and in Miami that’s the Design District.” Additional big name future tenants include Alexander Wang, Warby Parker, New York based women’s fashion line Alice + Olivia, and French designer Eres.
As the Design District continues to establish itself as Miami’s hub for high-end shopping, its vibrant restaurant and cocktail scene is also flourishing. Case in point is the fact that James Beard award winning chef Michael Schwartz has opened two restaurants in the area – Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink and the Cypress Tavern. Similarly, other esteemed restauranteurs have begun to follow suit. For example, legendary French chefs Joel Robuchon and Jean-Georges Vongerichten have announced plans to open new restaurants of their own in the north end of the Design District – which will continue to bolster Miami’s rapidly expanding culinary scene. Furthermore, Emilio and Gloria Estefan will be adding Estefan Kitchen to the neighborhood’s eclectic and luxurious landscape. Estefan Kitchen will be a high-end Cuban restaurant that is set to open in 2017.
With all of these exciting projects currently in the works, development in Miami’s Design District has yet to even come close to realizing its full potential. Looking towards the future, the Design District will continue to add retail locations, showrooms, galleries, and more – ensuring that fine art and design remain the cornerstone of the neighborhood. With these lofty plans for development, and the massive influx of high end brands and fine dining, there is no doubt that the Design District is rapidly becoming one of the most desirable residential neighborhoods in the greater Miami area, not to mention some of the most sought-after and bankable commercial real estate in the city. To view available properties in the Design District, including our listing at 4136 N Miami Ave (which you can see a rendering of below), please visit metro1.com today.
Other retailers include: