Brickell/Downtown Miami Buying Coral Gables Miami Beach Neighborhood News Palmetto Bay Pinecrest Selling

Properties Close To Public Transportation Popular During and After The Recession

Brickell Trolley
Brickell Trolley

Properties that were in communities near public transportation with frequent routes did 42% better in maintaining their value than those that were not near public transportation.  As real estate sales in Miami continue to rise, neighborhoods near public transportation are some of the areas with the tightest inventories.

Many communities, such as Brickell and Coral Gables, have added trolleys and many suburban communities, such as Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay, have added People Movers.

Florida Life Miami Beach Restaurants Things To Do

Eat, Drink and Be Merry! Miami Spice Runs Through September 30

Sorry, I forgot to give you a head’s up that Miami Spice was starting on August 1!  I was so busy planning my eating schedule, that I neglected to post, but you are not too late, it runs through the end of September.

I started my Miami Spice circuit by visiting a restaurant that I love for their great happy hours, The Forge on Miami Beach.  Since I wanted an appetizer, main dish, and dessert, I did go for the Miami Spice Menu, which is a bit limited.  If you want to skip the appetizer or dessert, you can still get a great meal for $39 from the main menu, without the wine of course!

I had the Chilled Shrimp Gazpacho appetizer,  the Oak Grilled Hanger Steak, and the Turron Nougat Cheesecake.  Everything was delicious and the Gazpacho and Cheesecake are not on the regular Forge Menu.  The beautiful interior and amazing chandeliers round out the dining experience.


Brickell/Downtown Miami Commercial Real Estate Florida Life Miami Beach Neighborhood News

New Buildings Mean New Architecture For Many Areas of Miami

With all of the new construction, both currently under way and proposed, comes new architecture.  Here are some new non-residential examples.

Miami Beach Convention Center - proposed by South Beach Ace
Miami Beach Convention Center – proposed by South Beach Ace
Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science
Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science


Dadeland Mall - Kendall
Dadeland Mall – Kendall


Buying Investment Real Estate Miami Beach

1542 Drexel #205 – Perfect Miami Beach Pied-A-Terre

You know what they say about real estate, location, location, location, and boy does 1542 Drexel Avenue #205  have it.  Location:  2 blocks from Lincoln Road.  Location:  1 block from Espanola.  Location: 3 blocks to the Ocean.  In the heart of Miami Beach, yet on a quiet, low traffic street, this fully furnished unit is the perfect Miami Beach Pied-A-Terre.  Rarely available one bedroom.  The last one bedroom for sale in this boutique building was in 2011!

If you are looking for an investment property instead of a weekend get-a-way, the last fully furnished unit that rented in this building was a studio that rented for $1500 per month!  Listed for sale, fully furnished (minus the art work) for $170,000.


Buying Coral Gables Luxury Real Estate Miami Beach

Preservation vs Private Property Rights

Ceiling In Alfred Browning Parker designed home

Several recent  articles have highlighted the issue of preservation vs private property rights.  I want to clarify that I am for historic preservation of relevant buildings but I think if it is done retroactively, it infringes on private property rights.

Both the Miami Herald building, sold to Genting Malaysia, and a Robert Browning Parker home in Gables Estates, currently listed for sale by Helen Nicastri of Coldwell Banker, have come before preservation boards with different outcomes.

A home in north Gables on Minorca and another in Miami Beach on Star Island are further examples of preservation boards trying to designate properties as historic when new owners purchased the property and applied for demolition permits.

If a property is designated as historic, it cannot be torn down and there are restrictions on the amount and type of  renovations that can be done.  You can check with local preservation boards to see if the property you are purchasing is on their list prior to purchasing, but if it is not on the list should a local board be able to designate it when you apply for permits to demolish or refurbish?  To protect your investment, if you are planning to purchase a property built in the 1920’s-1960’s (Old Spanish, Art Deco and MiMo architectural styles) and want to renovate or demolish it, contact the local historic preservation board during your due diligence/inspection period.



Brickell/Downtown Miami Coconut Grove Coral Gables Miami Beach Restaurants

Best Waterfront Restaurants In Miami

Smith and Wollensky Restaurant at South Pointe Park

Whether you are in town for Miami Art Week 2012 or just visiting Miami to enjoy our beautiful city, you will want to visit one of these restaurants.  Although Miami is surrounded by water, there aren’t that many waterfront restaurants.  In my opinion, these are, in my opinion, the best waterfront restaurants in Miami.

Smith and Wollensky at South Pointe Park,  Miami Beach

Il Gabian0 at Met One

Azul at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on Brickell Key

Crazy About You at the Mark

Gibraltar at the Grove Isle Hotel and Spa

Red Fish Grill in Matheson Hammock Park, Coral Gables



Miami Beach Things To Do

Visiting Miami For Art Week? Check Out The James Royal Palm Hotel

Photo Courtesy of The James Royal Palm Hotel

The James Royal Palm Hotel is the perfect place to kick off  Miami Art Week 2012 before the opening with Art Miami on December 4.  The James Royal Palm not only features  “An Ocean Apart,” a carefully-curated art collection curated by Lauren Rottet, it also supports an Artist in Residence program for local emerging artists, and has a rich history.

Art@TheJames includes Alex Prager, Carrie Sieh, Gavin Perry, Gerry Stecca, Portia Munson, Stephanie Jaffe Werner and Troy Stanley.

Miami Beach Restaurants

What Do All Of These Restaurants Have In Common?

Prime One Twelve

What do Prime One Twelve, Prime Italian, Nemo, Shoji Sushi, The Big Pink, and Prime Hotel and Lounge have in common?  They have great food,  are great for spotting celebrities, are some of the trendiest spots on South Beach, and in case the word “Prime” in three of their names didn’t give it away, they are all part of the Myles Restaurant Group which is owned by Myles Chefetz


Coconut Grove Coral Gables Florida Life Miami Beach Pinecrest Restaurants Things To Do

Best Sunday Brunch Spots In Miami

Biltmore Brunch

There are a lot of great breakfast spots in Miami, from Wagon’s West in Pinecrest;  Greenstreet and Peacock Garden Cafe in Coconut Grove,  and one of my favorites, The Big Pink on South of Fifth.  But for Sunday Brunch, I want something a little more extravagant.  Here are some of my top brunch spots from Coral Gables to Miami Beach:

  1. Biltmore Champagne Brunch Coral Gables – Whether you enter through the grandiose lobby or by their gorgeous pool, the setting for the Biltmore’s Sunday Brunch reminds me of the Great Gatsby era and I love the history of the place.
  2. Gibraltar at Grove Isle Coconut Grove – This restaurant has one of the most gorgeous views in Miami.
  3. The National Hotel Miami Beach – Though not as decadent on the food end as the others on this list, the fact that it is so reasonably priced and comes with complimentary access to the hotel’s beach and pool
  4. Terrazza at the Shore Club Miami Beach – the outside open porch over looking the pool is so relaxing.
  5. Sunday Jazz Brunch at the Setai Miami Beach – It is the Setai, need I say more?
  6. The Forge Miami Beach – Fresh, seasonal ingredients make for a varied menu and great food.

The has a much more extensive list of  locales serving brunch in Miami


Buying Miami Beach

Belle Isle and Morris Lapidus = 5 Island Avenue

Morris Lapidus Building - Modern Lobby
Stylish Lobby

The moment you drive onto the Venetian Causeway, you know you are somewhere special.  Stress melts away as the blue waters of the bay and intracoastal invite you to relax.  Belle Isle is just steps away from all of the restaurants, shopping, nightlife, and beaches of Miami Beach.  Overlooking Belle Isle park and bay, Island Terrace Condo is a Morris Lapidus building located right on the water.

5 Island Ave., 8B is an updated 1 bedroom, 1.5 bath unit, just listed for $260,000.  Come live the south Florida lifestyle!