ALLAPATTAH (CBSMiami) – It’s a colorful neighborhood – flowers, fruit, food.
Allapattah is known for its big produce market and blocks of discount clothing outlets.
It is sometimes called Little Santo Domingo because of its large Dominican community.
The Caribbean country’s culture is evident everywhere.
It’s also smack in the middle of everything.
It starts at the Miami River north to SR112, West of I-95 to Northwest 27th avenue.
Because of that, Allapattah is now one of the latest booming neighborhoods.
Property values are still relatively low, but investors and developers are getting wind of the profitable potential the area has.
Carlos Fausto Miranda jumped on that potential eight years ago.
“I always looks for a transitioning neighborhood. I look for neighborhoods in the urban core of our city that is not being correctly expressed,” he said.
He owns 9 properties – apartment buildings, industrial buildings and land.
He hopes to keep the industry driven community intact, and incorporate a 21st century edge to the area.
“You have this very strong base that has always been here but you are seeing the incoming of a new element which is much more design oriented and creative oriented,” he said.
You can see that mostly on NW 7th Avenue the creativity from Wynwood seeps into Allapattah.
Morey Moss has watched Allapattah grow for more than five decades. He owns the Berkeley Floral Shop – one of many cornerstone warehouse businesses of the industrial neighborhood.
“I’m impressed it’s getting to be a hot area. I think it’s a hot area because property values have gone up,” Moss said.
He’s right. Investors and even renters looking for affordable properties in Wynwood can’t find them, so they go west of 95 to Allapattah and they have a crop of affordable housing.
But even Allapattah prices are beginning to rise with the housing market thinning out everywhere else.
According to the real estate company Zillow, in 2015, home values went up nearly 24 percent in Allapattah. By comparison, Miami-Dade County went up 8.6 percent.
The Civic Towers – a section 8 housing development – on 1855 Northwest 15th Avenue was bought by a California firm for 15.6 million in 2011. It just sold for $25 million, a nearly 38 percent increase.
It may have the color of Wynwood, the Hispanic influence of a Caribbean country like Little Havana, the warehouse and industry strength of Doral, but Allapattah is creating an identity and name for itself that is like nothing else in South Florida – but never forgetting its roots and origin.
“Allapattah will always be Allapattah. There’s a DNA, there’s a narrative to it. There’s a story. The struggle of the people who have always been here lived here and worked here. But we are transitioning and transforming as a neighborhood but that will always be a part of the storyline that narrative,” Miranda said.
Investors, like Miranda are banking on the expectation that in the next 10 to 15 years, Allapattah will be transformed and booming – much like a Wynwood.