The Neighborhood Boom: New Life Flowing Into Miami River

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – CBS4 is rediscovering parts of South Florida that are undergoing major shifts in their landscapes and property values.

Five miles of a wild river became the waterway that birthed a young Miami metropolis.

Cargo freights and fishing docks connected the Magic City with the rest of the world.

Flash forward to today’s Miami River – it’s undergoing a riverside renaissance.

Restaurants packed with patrons, high rises lining the river with a cascade of concrete.

There are still cargo ships, but now they cruise alongside speed boats and yachts.

Local institutions like Casablanca and Garcia’s now share the river with a crop of new restaurants –  Seaspice, a waterfront oasis, and Crust, a mom and pop pizza shop.

And then there’s Stephane Dupoux’s River Yacht Club.

What used to be Finnegan’s on the river is now an upscale destination where boating enthusiasts can sail up to a fine-dining experience.

“I feel like I was an instigator of opening people’s eyes of the beauty of the Miami River, and energy, and cache,” said Dupoux.

It’s certainly not a new idea – a city built by a river.

“Sort of like you have in San Antonio, sort of like what you have at the Potomac, in district of Columbia, very much like what you have in Savannah,” said Miami River Commission Chairman Horacio Stuart Aguirre.

But with a booming neighborhood comes booming prices.

There are eight available rental spaces available for restaurants – including a space on 350 Flagler St.

It’s an 8,000-square-foot spot at $42 dollars a square foot, which comes out to $28,000 a month to rent.

Some developers are hoping for the uber wealthy buyers.

One River Point, off of SW 3rd street, is touted as an ultra-luxury condominium. Prices there start at $800,000 to the many millions. It’s slated to open on the river in 2019.

The Miami River Commission is behind the glamorous evolution told CBS4’s Vanessa Borge there are properties available for all bank accounts.

“You can buy a place on the Miami River for about the same for the same if you were going to go buy a house in the Kendall area. It may not be water front property but it may be a block off waterfront property,” said Aguirre.

There are more than 7,500 new residential units and about 4,000 more units on the way.

Right now you can dine at 21 restaurants, but there’s another 20 to come.

“I would say if you want to buy a home on the Miami River, don’t wait more than this year because you find anything left over,” said Aguirre.

The Miami River Commission says all those new projects, the buildings and restaurants, are slated to be done in about five years. So this is just the beginning!

More from Vanessa Borge
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