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Friday, December 08, 2006

Are Miami's new high rises high enough?

Today, I like living in Minnesota. The sun is out and the air is crisp (that’s a little rose-colored, but go with it).

And I’m beginning to wonder about the sustainability of some other options. A while back, Adrian posted about the rising global temperature, and warned Floridians that they might want to make haste to higher ground. Aside from questionable investment value, I read some disturbing news about quality of life on the fine peninsula. Time magazine reports that Miami, land of glitz, glamour and glbeaches, is actually the country’s least affordable city to live in. The median house price is one of the highest, ($372,000) and the median HHI is one of the lowest ($33,000).

During a recent visit, I stopped in at Arquitectonica, a large architectural firm in Miami. There, I heard that the city is essentially blooming and buildings are going up everywhere (look at all the cranes in this picture).

So who is going to live in all these new expensive developments? Not the middle class—they’re leaving to find a reasonably-priced home elsewhere. And not all those people making $30k. I’ll be curious to see if Miami can lure into permanency the high-rolling crowd that’s made the city a standard party-and-leave destination for so long. And what they're going to do when the whole joint starts going under water.

5 comments:

David said...

"So who is going to live in all these new expensive developments?"

account planning bootcamp students, that's who.

In all honesty, I think that's why they traded for Shaq.

salina said...

damn, that would be a speculation on future success!

AKI SYSTEMS 2600 said...

These are signs of the future for the uber-rich...Mall Homes. These and other developments in NYC are increasing the spectacle and design aesthetic, but also fulfilling every need under one roof. They essentially have whole shopping malls and parks within the complex grounds and provides you not only convenience, but protection from all those lower-income masses outside the gates. The McMansion trend of the past 15 years or more called for ESCAPE. The promise of the suburbs lured us with idyllic nature and space. Suburban living and automobile convenience dictated the rich run away from the problems of the city and start anew in the suburban forests. What we all got when we moved there was traffic, unimaginitive living, and no tax-base to build in basic needs and public services. So we invited the gas stations and fast fooderies and big box stores to come in and make it "convenient" and fuel some tax dollars into the local economy. But I think all of us, middle classes and uber-rich alike, now begin to realize that ESCAPE is unsustainable. And the Suburbs are not so convenient, pretty or even fun. So it seems the upper-classes are increasingly reclaiming their cities...but remember, the uber-rich need separation from the droll masses, even if hidden away inside a massive castle at city-center (and that is exactly what these complexes are). These complexes operate like Vegas casinos, all your entertainment, dining,retail and parks under one complex. They strike partnerships with chic club owners and retailers to import their vibe there. So malls will feel the crunch (and Wal-Mart and Target seem to have struck those blows witht he return of the suburban strip mall) and the cities will find themselves clustered around these Uber-rich Mall Castles. I think they'll do well and put the squeeze on the middle segments. The uber-rich are bringing sexy back with these Urban Mall Castle-States and learning from the suburban experience and keeping you middle masses out at the set-up. The best you'll get is admission into some restaurants. But the message is clear, 'leave us alone' to our vanities.

salina said...

yep, I can see the way that's supposed to work out, but did anyone do a head count? Cause I'm guessing there aren't as many uber-rich as there are spaces in the urban castle. and these developers will need to get their money somehow, so that means prices will drop and then, hey! maybe you or I could have a shot at the luxury playland (okay, maybe in a few years and some lucky investing). and then the whole experience will be tainted!

AKI SYSTEMS 2600 said...

in fact, you're correct. which is exactly how the dream of the Suburban Estate fizzled out...EVERYBODY CAN DO IT. it's hard out here for the uber-rich.