Are you an arty party an­i­mal?

Mi­ami is re­born as a cos­mopoli­tan beach city with chic new flats, a thriv­ing arts scene and even a farm­ers’ mar­ket, says

London Evening Standard (West End Final B) - ES Homes and Property - - Homes Abroad -

MI­AMI is Amer­ica’s city of rein­ven­tion. Over the past half-cen­tury it has turned from a re­tire­ment back­wa­ter into an edgy party city and cos­mopoli­tan cen­tre for mod­ern art, in a jour­ney marked by fi­nan­cial boom, bust and boom.

The lat­est rein­ven­tion is un­der way in Brick­ell, a high-rise part of Down­town that’s al­ready a hot favourite with younger Mi­ami res­i­dents. Mi­ami is Amer­ica’s sec­ond- largest fi­nan­cial cen­tre af­ter Man­hat­tan and Brick­ell is an easy walk from the banks and busi­nesses that pack Down­town. So, in a state in love with the car, Brick­ell is also the first place in Florida where res­i­dents are happy to walk to work.

BRICK­ELL — CITY WITHIN A CITY

“Even five years ago Brick­ell was a busi­ness district that closed at 6pm but now it has be­come a big hit with young pro­fes­sion­als com­plete with bars, restau­rants, shop­ping cen­tres, mar­kets and sports fa­cil­i­ties,” says Edgardo De­for­tuna, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Sav­ills as­so­ciate For­tune In­ter­na­tional Group. “Mi­ami was once just a beach city but the de­vel­op­ment of ar­eas like Brick­ell make it more in­te­grated and ma­ture.”

Brick­ell’s trans­for­ma­tion from outof-hours ghost town to a highly live­able, en­er­getic city within a city is re­mark­able. The pop­u­la­tion has tripled since 2000. Brick­ell City Cen­tre, a newly opened re­tail and en­ter­tain­ment hub, will fea­ture 120 shops in­clud­ing a flag­ship Saks Fifth Av­enue, while ev­ery Satur­day a farm­ers’ mar­ket at­tracts shop­pers from across Mi­ami. Brick­ell has be­come some­where peo­ple can — and want to — live, work and play.

Property prices are about half of those three miles away in prime South Beach. Reach and Rise are two new Brick­ell high-rise schemes, each selling 390 one- to four-bed­room flats with bal­conies, from £490,000 for 1,000sq ft. Ser­vice charges from £8,000 cover ameni­ties in­clud­ing a gym, pool, spa, en­ter­tain­ment room and concierge. The first build­ing is over 90 per cent sold.

THE CHILL-OUT OP­TION

Thirty miles north of Mi­ami, Fort Laud­erdale is an up­mar­ket beach­front com­mu­nity pop­u­lar with hol­i­day­ing fam­i­lies and Amer­i­can re­tirees. BA be­gins di­rect flights up to four times a week from Gatwick in July to the lo­cal air­port — a pop­u­lar and less-crowded al­ter­na­tive to Mi­ami In­ter­na­tional.

Five-star brands de­vel­op­ing in Fort Laud­erdale in­clude W and Four Sea­sons. Most in­ter­est­ing, how­ever, and di­rectly on the sandy beach is Au­berge Beach Res­i­dences & Spa, two new sleek build­ings with 171 apart­ments priced from £1.19 mil­lion.

The res­i­dences are on a 4.6-acre plot in rel­a­tively peace­ful north Fort Laud­erdale, with un­der­ground park­ing and easy ac­cess to the much-loved lo­cal mari­nas and golf re­sorts. Homes are gen­er­ously sized, av­er­ag­ing 2,900sq ft, with high ceil­ings and large ter­races.

Early buy­ers at Au­berge are from the US and across Europe, with an av­er­age age of 49. Al­most half plan to make it their main home, helped by ex­cel­lent fa­cil­i­ties in­clud­ing three restau­rants, a fit­ness cen­tre and yoga room, sev­eral pools and a wine-tasting room.

“Fort Laud­erdale is per­fect for peo­ple who want to spend time with fam­ily and friends close to the ac­tiv­i­ties and glam­our of Mi­ami but with­out the mad­ness and chaos,” says Andy Mitchell, chief ex­ec­u­tive of Au­berge de­vel­op­ers Fair­winds Group. “A train line is be­ing built that will even­tu­ally take you to Mi­ami in 15 min­utes.”

Sav­ills: sav­ills.com (020 7016 3740)

From £490,000: flats in two high-rise tow­ers, Reach and Rise, in Brick­ell, Mi­ami Down­town, which has a new re­tail and en­ter­tain­ment hub and a farm­ers’ mar­ket

From £1.19 mil­lion: flats at Au­berge Beach Res­i­dences & Spa in Fort Laud­erdale

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