The Real Deal Miami

Development by design

Will Miami’s Design District live up to its promise as the city’s premier shopping destination?

(Illustration by Daniel Gary-Barnett)

From the March issue: The once-gritty Miami Design District is nearing the final stages of its transformation into a luxury shopping destination and cultural hub, filled with designer shops, restaurants, museums, hotels, home furnishings and art collections.

Designer boutiques like Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Christian Dior, Tom Ford and Giorgio Armani have opened on mahogany-tree-lined streets, alongside open courts and paseos dotted with such outdoor artworks as Buckminster Fuller’s Fly’s Eye Dome and Xavier Veilhan’s sculpture Le Corbusier.

The district — broadly defined as the area from Biscayne Boulevard to North Miami Avenue, and from the north side of 36th Street to 42nd Street, with the center the Paseo Ponti and First Avenue — is the subject of a multimillion-square-foot revamp that will ultimately include 120 stores and at least 15 eateries in the neighborhood by the end of 2018, asserted  Craig Robins, president and CEO of Dacra, the driving force behind the redevelopment.

“The plan is to be a creative laboratory, where you can walk around and see amazing art, fashion, design and graphic design,” Robins told The Real Deal.

Yet to date, just about 50 percent of the renovation is completed. Much of the area is still a construction site. And foot traffic remains relatively light. [more]