South Florida by the numbers: Chinatown(s) in Miami?

Rendering of Chinatown pagoda and Master Brokers Forum
Rendering of Chinatown pagoda and Master Brokers Forum

“South Florida by the numbers” is a web feature that catalogs the most notable, quirky and surprising real estate statistics.

First there was “Chinatown.” Then there was “The Two Jakes.” Coming soon to Miami: “The Two Chinatowns?” But these are not movies — they’re actually two exciting new proposals that could eventually result in a pair of newly-developed Chinatown districts in North Miami (along Northwest Seventh Avenue between 119th Street and 135th Street) and North Miami Beach (on Northeast 163rd Street from Northwest Second Avenue to Northeast 15th Avenue). Proponents say these projects could jump-start economically depressed areas of Miami, just as Asian investment here reaches an all-time high. Should one of these proposals take precedence over the other? Can Miami possibly support two of these unique districts? Let’s take a look in this edition of “South Florida by the numbers.”

47: Number of Asian and Chinese-owned businesses already located in the proposed North Miami Beach district, making it the more “organic” of the two. This area was designated as Chinatown by both the city and Miami-Dade County since 2015, and city planners are working with these business owners to make the district a reality. Due to the diverse nature of these area owners (including not only Chinese, but Filipinos, Vietnamese and Thai, as well) it may be referred to as an “International District.” [TheRealDeal]

$655 million: Amount Asian investors poured into Miami real estate between January and June 2016, according to a CBRE report. However, the Chinatown district planners are quick to point out that they are seeking investment from a wide variety of sources. [MiamiAgentMagazine]

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93 acres: Size of the proposed North Miami commercial district, which will offer a wide variety of incentives to investors, including tax credits, access to the EB-5 program for foreign investors at the federal level, as well as brownfield incentives and manufacturer tax exemptions at the state level. [TheRealDeal]

8.6 percent: According to the city of North Miami, the increased percentage of property value since February 2016, when the Chinatown district was designated. In addition to the district, the city will be adding a 300-room hotel near the south entrance to the district, plus a library and/or museum to be built within it (among other real estate developments). Furthermore, the Florida Department of Transportation will be upgrading the nearby streets, taking away one lane of traffic and building landscaped medians. [TheRealDeal]

2.2 percent: According to a 2014 U.S. Census, the percentage of North Miami’s population that is Asian, with only 139 people in the city identified as Chinese. Some local residents have questioned the creation of a Chinatown in an area that is largely populated by African-Americans and Haitian-Americans, and already has an “established cultural identity.” [MiamiHerald]

This column is produced by the Master Brokers Forum, a network of South Florida’s elite real estate professionals where membership is by invitation only and based on outstanding production, as well as ethical and professional behavior.

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