One year ago, this image would have been plain with only the yellow building to the left along with some rather unimpressive buildings in the periphery. Now, the new construction is giving way to some serious urban density. This image is a microcosm of the larger urban puzzle, but it symbolizes the growing densification trend in Miami.
It’s painful to look at the Espirito Santo Building’s damage almost two years after the building was hit hard by Hurricane Wilma. I know that the issue was not lack of windstorm insurance, but for the sake of God, how long does it take to get the claim through the red tape? What if a major storm would have hit last season?
Here we have one of the city’s most striking buildings looking as if it belongs in Beirut’s battered skyline. What’s even more baffling is that it’s home to one of the city’s most high-end hotels, Conrad. Where’s the sense of urgency? Anyhow, the glass is finally getting replaced and hopefully the Espirito Santo will get back to its original form soon.
The neighborhood south of 5th street in South Beach is a remarkably high end community, but what is it called? The area is referred to by three names: South Pointe, South of Fifth (SoFi), and Portofino. So, what’s what? Are the names synonymous? Surely there must be a difference.
The nearby Murano’s official name is “The Murano at Portofino” so is the “Yacht Club at Portofino”. So where is Portofino? Presumably on that same spot. The name Portofino seems to be derived from the Porofino Tower, which was the first new skyscraper in the neighborhood. Then, the area started being referred to as South Pointe–the name of the neighborhood’s park. This seemed more logical since it wouldn’t be proper to name a neighborhood after a building, but then came South of Fifth (SoFi).
Suddenly, there were too many names. It seems that SoFi refers to the entire area south of 5th street; including the mid-rise dominated interior and high-rise dominated southern tip. The Portofino and South Pointe titles seem to refer to the extreme southern tip and bay front slither along the west side of the neighborhood. In any case, this matter deserves some clarification prior to Bob’s upcoming Miami Beach Report, which will include a detailed section on this important yet small beach front neighborhood.
View of Sunny Isles and the Intracoastal Waterway from Coastal Towers. Submitted by a Bob: Miami reader. Thanks for the view Frank.