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First came Brickell, then came the bay-view towers on Biscayne Boulevard. Increasingly, the blocks between them are filling in with rentals and condos — a decided departure from the courthouses, Miami Dade College buildings and discount shops that have long lined these streets.
The latest is the 501 First Residences, a 40-story condo at 501 NE First Ave. that will be home to 448 fully furnished condo units. Prices will start at $300,000 for a 400-square-foot studio; a two-bedroom, two-bath twice that size will go for $800,000, according to Peggy Olin, CEO of the Fort Lauderdale-based brokerage firm OneWorld Properties.
Don’t call the moving truck just yet. Construction is anticipated to start in the first quarter of 2022 and be completed by late 2024, said David Arditi, principal and co-founder of the Edgewater-based Aria Development Group, the firm behind the project
Arditi credits the commuter Brightline service from Miami to West Palm Beach as a key component. “It’s one of the few areas of Miami where you can walk to your place of work, to dine, to shop and to areas of entertainment. It’s logical that the next part of the area’s evolution is residential,” Arditi said. “Brightline is a game changer. ... If I work in Downtown, I can live in Fort Lauderdale and access more housing. I can limit my driving, I think people like that. It’s something people are looking for.”
Just to the south, the city’s historic business district is being reshaped as well, with a new streetscape plan along Flagler Street, and the transformation of a historic Walgreens building and the Time Century Jewelry Center, formerly known as Metro Mall Miami.
Plenty of demand exists for Downtown Miami living, Olin said, including from Latin American buyers. “A lot of people want to be close to the center of transportation and close to the beach. You could live in Downtown and benefit from the walkability.”