Daily Archives: June 4, 2007

Map/Satellite Imagery No Substitute For Being On the Ground

In analyzing the urban transformation of Miami, using tools such as Google Earth, Microsoft Virtual Earth, and Google Maps/StreetView is extremely useful. However, when making final determinations, there is no substitute for surveying the reality on the ground–venturing out into the city, street by street. To illustrate this further, let’s take a look at these images:

A. GOOGLE MAPS (Satellite View): No Activity on Nordica Site

B. VIRTUAL EARTH (Birds-Eye View): Nordica Under Construction

C. On the Ground View: Nordica Topped off

Virtual Earth definitely has more updated satellite images. The more user-friendly Google Maps has satellite imagery that is pretty outdated–although Street View is recently updated. There is no doubt that both offer great tools for analyzing urban development patterns, but if you aren’t on the ground, you don’t know smack.


Filed under Maps and Illustrations, Urban Tech

Urban Tech: Zillow

Zillow is an informative real estate information site that allows prospective buyers and sellers to search properties for sale and recently sold as well as property tax info. Zillow also has data charts that illustrate price trends for individual homes/units relative to a respective zip code, municipality, and county–30-day price trends are highlighted to mark short term changes and historical value trends for insight into past fluctuations. Interestingly, statistics also compare a homes price appreciation (in percentage) to that of other homes in the metropolitan area. Zillow estimates the properties values based on comparable properties recently sold.

Site Images:


Filed under BoB Articles

New “About BoB” Page

Boom or Bust: Miami is growing and has formalized its information model and updated the About BoB page to let you know what to expect from BoB in the coming months. Several series are highlighted. Check it out.

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Filed under BoB Articles

Related International

Jorge Perez of the Related Group is a giant in Florida. In Tampa, his firm is being relied on to complete the Trump Tower, which ironically Trump pulled out of. In Palm Beach he’s building another Trump-brand tower. He has major projects in Georgia and elsewhere in the U.S., but now, his firm plans to aggressively transcend the U.S. market with Related International.

Related International is planning projects in Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Argentina, and Uruguay. In Mexico, Related already has $1 billion worth of development in the pipeline. Mr. Perez’s expansion is that of Miami’s as well. His techniques and resources were formed, for the most part, in the Magic City, and his foray into international markets is Miami’s as well.


Filed under Developers, News

Tracking Emerging Neighborhoods: S.W. 3rd Avenue Corridor

Map: The S.W. 3rd Avenue Corridor is shown in dark blue. The Roads is shown in red surrounding the Corridor, Brickell Village is shown in light blue, and the Simpson Park Triangle in green.

The S.W. 3rd Avenue Corridor is south west of Brickell Village and surrounded by the residential neighborhood known commonly as “The Roads”. The tree-lined Corridor begins at the junction where Coral Way turns from S.W. 22nd street into S.W. 3rd Avenue and ends at the I-95 overpass. Low density residential surrounds the Corridor on all sides. The area, although narrow and not very long, has some interesting newly built and planned mid-rise developments. Set amid a diverse mix of palatable international restaurants, the S.W. 3rd Avenue Corridor is an exciting prospect.

Image: The Roads at 21

Development Activity
The Corridor really is a smattering of new mid-rise developments, international restaurants, Class B offices, two religious complexes and mostly medium density residential. The newly built and planned mid-rises represent a new urbanism the Corridor has not yet seen and a vision of its future.

The new projects:

Image: Nordica

Nordica, the most impressive of these, marks the Astor Companies (Peter and Henry Torres) most notable project. The small but growing firm is also building in the Gables/Coral Way corridor and Little Havana. Nordica has a refreshingly modern glassy design that combines curves and sharp lines. The project has high ceilings (10ft. in the tower and 12ft. at the penthouse level).

Luis Velez, of Coral Way East Development, just occupied his first Miami development, the Roads at 21. His firm is planning another mid-rise, the Roads at 18 on the Corridor. His activities make him the most influential developer on S.W. 3rd Ave. He’s a well known restaurateur in Puerto Rico and many of his units have been sold to wealthy clients from the Caribbean island.

Image: View of the tree-lined Corridor and Brickell Way site

Brickell Way, a new project planned for 27th street will add another mid-rise to the mix. It has a less modern and more traditional appearance than the Coral Way East and Astor Companies developments. The project is expected to be completed in 2008. There is no construction activity on the site. The project developer’s portfolio also includes Grove View and Grove Way.

Across the street from the Brickell Way site (north of 28th st.), on S.W. 3rd Avenue, properties 2725 and 2733 are up for sale and zoned for office use. Luis Velez’s site for the Roads at 21 sales center is also up for sale at 2885 S.W 3rd Ave.

Image: Site for The Roads at 18

Neighborhood Composition
There is plenty of shade provided by the trees lining S.W. 3rd Avenue and the sidewalks are in good shape. All in all, the Corridor is pedestrian friendly. To the Corridor’s disadvantage, public rail transit is a bit out of the way. The area maintains a low density, quiet, residential feel. The smattering of new developments is sure to slightly alter that, but the community’s location in the periphery of the urban core will keep it less dense and more quiet than nearby Brickell Village and the Simpson Park Triangle.

And lastly, the 3rd Avenue Corridor has a rich selection of quality restaurants and markets:

  • Mykonos, at the east entrance to the corridor, has been a staple of Greek dining for years in Miami.
  • Fresco California Bistro: a quaint, reasonably priced eclectic bistro with great quality dining, service, and ambiance.

Image: Fresco California Bistro

  • Tutto Pasta and Tutto Pizza: among city’s most notable Italian eateries (across from Fresco California Bistro)
  • El Senorial, a family-run Peruvian restaurant where among other things Ceviche is served fresh.

Image: El Senorial Retaurante

  • Oriental Bakery and Grocery store where you can get fresh baked pita bread, pine nuts, Lebanese and Syrian pastries, hummus, and all sorts of other delectable Middle Eastern treats.
  • Post, a new restaurant and lounge, has added a later dose of night life to the corridor.

Located a stone’s throw away from Brickell Village and the Gables, with a combination of new developments, respectable office complexes, and an array of restaurants, the tree-lined S.W. 3rd Avenue Corridor is poised to start turning more heads than ever before, but for now, this scenic strip of Coral Way remains on the verge.

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Filed under Coral Way Corridor (S.W. 3rd Ave.), Emerging Neighborhoods