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Miami Beach 411
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If you walk down Biscayne Boulevard you will see a grassroots resurgence growing along the Corridor. Small businesses, shopping boutiques, and restaurants are opening, and this local newspaper is helping them spread the word.

Reflecting the small business growth, the Biscayne Corridor Chamber of Commerce was created in early 2004. “Our vision is to make the Corridor the most prosperous locale in which to do business,” says its president, John P. Meyer. “We’re a volunteer organization putting together action plans and stretching our resources.”The Chamber hosts monthly networking events for civic leaders and area residents.

Every Sunday, you can also find, Reverand James Trapp, delivering two uplifting sermons to a packed house at Miami's Unity Church, one block east of Biscayne Boulevard on NE 21st St.. Just a few years ago, the church offered one service, and it wasn’t for a full house. Now it’s standing room only. And another weekly service has been added in Spanish, delivered by a co-minister.

Following Soyka Restaurant at Biscayne and NE 55th St., other new restaurants have opened: Sushi Siam, Casa Toscana, North 110, and Dogma, a fun outdoor hotdog stand.

Undoubtedly the highest profile new establishment is Ola Miami — a new restaurant by Chef Douglas Rodriguez, who is credited with popularizing Nuevo Latino cuisine. Ola Miami was recently named one of the Top new restaurants in the world by Conde Nast.

Diverse residential projects

While most real estate developers are touting the strong demand for residential units, the density of the projects will not hold much attraction for families who want a house with a yard. Some developers are takeing note and building condo/lofts such as the Mondrian, Parc Lofts and Filling Station, hoping that a combination of a large open space, price, and close proximity to jobs will stave off the desire for a backyard.

If you drive along Biscayne Bay you will also see a number of sleek, high-rise condominiums with one-word names like: Blue, Ice, Platinum, Onyx, and Star under construction.

“There is no question that water views, and waterside locations, are what people are looking for,” says Pedro Martin, president of Miami-based Terra ADI International Developments, the company building Quantum on the Bay and 900 Biscayne. 60 percent of buyers in his projects are from South Florida, with the balance are coming from New York, the Midwest, Latin America and Europe.

A clear symbol of the changing marketplace is the former 1800 Club bar. This was the infamous place visited by Frank Sinatra, Warren Beatty and President Bill Clinton. The bar was demolished in 2002 to make way for the 1800 Club; a 41-story condo with 469 units rising above the Bay.

“This area is quickly becoming a popular place for small business and an fun neighborhood to live and play,” says Edgardo Defortuna, president of Fortune International, the Miami company in charge of sales for the project.

Next > Biscayne Area Project List - Page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

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