When Ana Grimaldi and her husband, Lucio, moved from New York to Miami six years ago, they already had a young son. But instead of looking in a suburb, the couple chose to settle in Brickell, basically to be closer to Lucio’s work …
Today, the couple has two children, ages 8 and 3, and they still live in the same Brickell apartment building.
“When we moved years ago we felt like pioneers, because Brickell was not a family-oriented place,” said Grimaldi, 39. “At that time, it was the financial district, but all that has changed dramatically, there are more places and activities for children, in many of the new buildings there are preschools, it is a safe environment for children, something very important for parents. And they can grow up in an urban neighborhood that has a sense of community. ”
The idea of raising a family in the urban center of downtown – with apartment buildings, heavy traffic and entertainment aimed at adults, such as nightclubs and restaurants – may have seemed crazy for years. But a new demographic analysis of the downtown area of Miami by the Development Authority of Downtown Miami (DDA), with information from the US Census, shows that the population in the area is in a record of 92,235 people, a rise of 65 percent compared to the period from 2000 to 2010.
The figure is projected to increase another 19 percent by 2021, when the population of the area is projected to reach 109,617.
Professionals 25 and 44 are the largest group in downtown, 45 percent of the inhabitants. But the number of people aged 14 and younger has increased 53 percent since 2010, to a total of 11,484 at this time.
The number of family units has increased 42 percent to 47,958.
A greater number of children means a higher demand for schools. Although there are enough elementary and middle schools in the area with space to accommodate hundreds of students, the need for a secondary school will intensify in the coming years.
According to DDA’s fourth quarter 2017 figures, the average rent for an apartment in downtown Miami was $ 2,525, a 4 percent decrease compared to 2016. The average resale price for the apartments was $ 405. per square foot, higher than in Aventura ($ 352), Coral Gables ($ 274) and Doral ($ 191). Only Miami Beach beat downtown with a price of $ 1,025 per square foot.
In its annual list of the 15 best cities to walk in the United States, WalkScore ranked Miami in sixth place, ahead of Seattle, Philadelphia, Chicago and Washington DC – and specifically cited the neighborhoods of Wynwood, Edgewater and downtown. But Carlo Rosso, president of the condominium division of urban developer The Related Group, said things can get much better. For example, it supports the Biscayne Line, a proposed pedestrian route that would connect Edgewater with downtown and Brickell.
“You’ve already seen what places like New York have done with the High Line,” the elevated public park in the west side of Manhattan, Rosso said. “People start using spaces where you can run and ride on weekends, because when you live in an apartment, you have less space.”
Other key findings from the demographic study of downtown Miami:
• The downtown population during daylight hours, which includes neighbors, workers, students and tourists, is 250,757, equivalent to 66,000 people per square mile and is the most densely populated area in Miami-Dade. In comparison, the population of downtown Fort Lauderdale during the day is 79,962 people.
• Average family income is $ 76,610, almost double Miami-Dade, which is $ 44,224, according to the Census. The per capita income was $ 52,200, more than double the per capita income of Miami-Dade, which is $ 24,515.
Some experts say that although the boom in downtown Miami is good for the city as a whole, the high cost of living in the urban center has consequences.
“Many people who work downtown have been forced to move to Kendall and Homestead,” said Dr. Ned Murray, deputy director of the Metropolitan Center at Florida International University.