Victor Vigano

Why Miami?

In Uncategorized on March 24, 2011 at 11:53

Because it’s a growing city with lots to offer for everyone.

When boasting about Miami one has to pay his respects starting with Miami Beach.

After the days of Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack were long gone, Miami Beach diminished to a retiring place for elders.  Its beauty and uniqueness, though, remained untainted and ready to shine once again, when the times were right.   When I first moved here, in 1994, Miami and Miami Beach were pale ghosts of what they are now. Miami Downtown was a financial district, mostly off-limits after hours due to safety reasons (not one of the best spots to be after 6pm).   Miami Beach was riveting with models and photographers, some rich playboys from around the world and few pioneers who saw opportunity, but still lacked its KO punch.  In the morning the streets were deserted until 10am, as people took their time to comfortably wake up, as establishments opened around that time, too.  During the day, cars were few and far between, parking was free almost everywhere and spots always available.   Miami Beach was a little jewel, but remained  undiscovered to most.  Versace, the Estefans and Madonna were among the first who rediscovered its raw beauty and, maybe unwittingly, who helped stir the interest of the masses. 

 Miami Beach was a no brainer success story on the making.  As pivotal spot set between the Americas and with its strong Cuban influence, it became a home away from home for many Latinos. The beach, the beautiful setting and the trendiness made it the vacation retreat for New Yorkers, as well as for all those who lived in busy, cold cities of the North.  A favorite spot for model agencies, Miami Beach was an attraction and became a playground for all those playboys who could afford a permanent vacation in paradise.  The hip and creative mixture of denizens pushed Miami Beach to take the lead as the cutting edge spot for electronic music and nightlife, becoming one of the predominant party cities of the world.  Stars flocked and glamour ran rampant.

The magnitude of the night clubs skyrocketed: from the original hits such as the early Warsaw Ballroom, Level, Paragon, Twist; through the icons such as Living Room, Liquid, Crowbar, Mint and Chaos; to the behemoths such as Mansion, the Opium Garden, Crowbar; touching the zenith with the opening of Club Space (in Miami Downtown), a virtual consecration of electronic music commanding top djs from around the world,  playing for infinite after-hours to reveling crowds. Miami and Miami Beach swiftly grew to top spot also for Europeans and Russian tourists who brought with them more purchasing power and hype.  Soon, as a consequence, all sort of establishments appeared, catering to the most diverse needs and desires. 

At the turning of the millennium, Miami Beach started to assume a different face.  Its raw hipness and untainted creativity slowly yielded to a more conventional status to match the expanded idiosyncrasies a major city would entail. Those who were partygoers established families and had kids.  The Miami Heat and the Marlins grew in fame (not so maybe the Dolphins, who were most famous with Dan Marino).  The city clamped down on clubs, regulating and virtually tapering down the party.  Vacationers saw that Miami Beach had more to offer than being just a quick retreat from the cold or an occasion to dance; they envisioned it as the permanent residence for a life of dreams.   Some started buying their second residences here, turning Miami Beach into their only spot for vacationing; others moved here altogether. Miami Downtown, with its improved safety, upgraded to residential enclave.  Miami and Miami Beach grew, embracing each other synergically, and in the eyes of many who make no distinction with the Metropolitan Miami-Dade County, Miami became one mega-city.  Real Estate flourished.

Then, with banks inflating the money market and the people’s purchasing power with easy loans, the unsophisticated masses promptly rushed to acquire real estate like it was going out of style, riding the “your home is your bank” propaganda.  What was a flourishing real estate marked in Miami turned into a boom phenomenon; new buildings were coming up in quick succession.  As the real estate bubble grew, also Miami grew; and many more called it home.

Eventually, the real estate bubble burst, bringing down the dreams of many but leaving behind important infrastructures and many new residents.  Miami was hit harder than most cities, as everybody rushed to invest in what was hyped to be a gold mine.  The same happened with Las Vegas.  The real estate values plunged and many buildings remained half empty, some completely.  Many people faced hardships with their properties and their finances as they overstretched their investments, or simply because their condo associations faced too many delinquencies, calling for expensive special assessments.  Not the best of times for residents.

But Miami is not Las Vegas, and while there one finds a desert, here one can enjoy the leisure of the beach and the ocean; while there one finds a city saturated with gambling and shows, here one may find a city still sparkling with potential and breadth for business growth; while only some want to live in Las Vegas many desire a life in Miami. Now, the real estate inventory is being slowly re-absorbed, the prices are seemingly at their lowest and Miami is still a growing attraction.  Home prices in Miami are still advantageous when compared to other cities of similar importance. A weak dollar allows for people around the world to once again see Miami as a relatively safe bet.   Miami: a city with a great margin for improvement; a city with an established aura of beauty that meshes with the comforts and quality that a major US city may offer; a paradise found.

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