New homes, shops and restaurants in Miami’s financial district — think London’s Canary Wharf, only glinting in subtropical sunshine — have made Brickell more than a place to work.
Once the preserve of office blocks, Brickell is now somewhere for high-earners to call home. Some 5,000 high-end condominiums have been built in the area since 2012, with around 5,500 more proposed, according to the Miami Downtown Development Authority.
The 64-storey Brickell Flatiron, going up in the middle of the neighbourhood, is typical in promising upscale amenities such as a rooftop spa and pool, and residents’ cinema. Still, Brickell homes offer relative value, with Downtown Miami condos trading at an average $416 per square foot in 2018, compared with $901 in the better-known Miami Beach.
No need to drive
Brickell is pedestrian friendly. Pavements are not only provided, but shaded by the surrounding skyscrapers and ubiquitous palm trees. For trips beyond the neighbourhood, the area has five stops on the free Metromover train service, including Financial District and Tenth Street Promenade, and Brickell station itself links to the city’s more extensive Metrorail system.
Alternatively, the district is dotted with docking stations for Citi Bike — Miami’s bike-sharing service — and is piloting a scooter-sharing scheme.
Stretching south from the mouth of the Miami river and overlooking Biscayne Bay, Brickell’s waterfront location provides a cooling sea breeze to counter its humidity and subtropical temperatures, which average 29C in August. The bayside perimeter path on Brickell Key offers views of the water and is popular with runners and dog-walkers.
Brickell City Centre is a $1.05bn mixed-use development that sells itself as the beating heart of Brickell. It has a polished retail offering, including the obligatory Apple store, millennial-friendly eateries such as “organic boutique café” Dr Smood and runs a weekly farmers’ market beneath the nearby Metromover track.
Florida residents famously pay no income tax — a boon for the bankers and corporate lawyers working in Brickell’s gleaming towers. The 7 per cent local sales tax in Miami is, however, high by US standards.
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