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Uptown Miami Steps Out

A Real Estate Boom Is Transforming The Area Billed As "The Heart Of the Arts" In America's Most Cosmopolitan City.

The city's "heart of the arts" district - a roughly 25 block stretch along the Biscayne Blvd. corridor between the Performing Arts center and the Design District - that is now the hottest real estate market in South Florida, led by a $1 billion wave of over 6000 new condos and apartments and an 800,000 sq. ft. upscale shopping mall.

It starts with Miami's own "Lincoln Center" the new $300 million Performing Arts Center that will open next year as the home of the Miami city ballet, opera, symphony and concert halls.

 It ends at the much-publicized center of chic known as the Design District, where hot new clubs and restaurants neighbor the showrooms of design superstars like Holly Hunt and Alison Spear.

In between are 25 blocks along the shore of Biscayne Bay that are now the hottest real estate market in booming South Florida.

Welcome to "Uptown Miami", the heart of the arts in America's most cosmopolitan city.

With about-to-be-beautified Biscayne Boulevard as its Main Street, Uptown Miami is now undergoing a sweeping renaissance as scores of caf�s, galleries and boutiques rush in to serve nearly 10,000 new residents who will be moving in to fill over 6000 new condominiums and apartments now being planned, built and sold.

And in case you're wondering when they'll go for groceries and home furnishings, two blocks west is a new 800,000 square foot mega-mall, to be anchored by stores like IKEA, Publix, and maybe a Macy's. The new condo communities range from modest 36-loft buildings to 50-story towers -including a varied 3000 condo mix in the Buena Vista Yards property and are being designed by some of the hottest architects in the business.

With Downtown Miami now already undergoing a development boom to the south, and neighborhoods like Morningside and Upper Eastside undergoing gentrification to the north, Uptown Miami fills the gap beautifully. City officials are ecstatic, pointing out that Uptown Miami's southern gateway is the 395/MacArthur Causeway from South Beach, and the northern gateway is the 195/Julia Tuttle Causeway from Miami Beach.

Which brings up what maybe the most intriguing new project in Uptown Miami a deliberately designed "landmark" tower on the shore of Biscayne Bay flanked by the 195 Causeway.

It's called "Blue", and the 36-story curvilinear glass sculpture shape was designed by Miami's heralded Arquitectonica firm to be �an icon marking the gateway to Miami. It's no coincidence that Blue will be seen and noted by every visitor traveling along I95 from Miami's International Airport to Miami Beach and back.

"Blue is meant to make a statement," says its developer, "which says Uptown Miami has arrived and here's where it begins." It also serves as kind of a giant design icon for the next door Design District.

And what kind of developers would be bold enough to make cutting-edge design their guiding principle when everyone else is worried about so-called luxury and price-per-square-foot?

"We're not looking at what everyone else is building, nor do we need to compete with them. Blue is a one-of-a-kind condominium for the same sort of people who buy the best-of-design goods next door in the Design District," they say. Even so, Blue's prices fall mainly in the $300,000 to $600,000 range.

And "they" know a little about cutting-edge and design. Because Blue's developers are none other than Silicon Valley legends Jim Clark and Tom Jermoluk, who founded and ran companies like Silicon Graphics and Netscape.

Together with one of South Florida's most respected builders, Paul Murphy, they have formed Hyperion Development Group specifically to create break-the-mold properties like Blue.

And they like everyone else think Uptown Miami is the perfect place to build them.



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