The southern portion of Miami Beach is known as "South Beach."

Photo by Britt J. Rosen - Copyrighted  (2005) - Looking north from "Sofi"

The area stretches from South Pointe Park at the southern most tip of the island of Miami Beach, north to 17th Street. It is world famous for its Art Deco architecture, as well as for its shopping and entertainment amenities which include numerous restaurants, night clubs and a strand of premier beach bordering the Atlantic Ocean.

South Beach’s strand of beach ranks as one of the Travel Channels’ top ten beaches in the world. The Surfrider Foundation voted it the premier urban beach in the United States. Occupying less than two square miles on the southern tip of Miami Beach, South Beach’s subtropical sandbar has an identity of its own. South Beach's Art Deco District contains over 800 buildings in a distinct architectural style. Ocean Drive is rather known for its lively activity and sidewalk cafés. The area has also become a favored location for films, music and television shows and scenery for fashion shoots. The Art Deco Historic District, with the largest concentration of 1920's and 1930s architecture in the world, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and recognized globally as one of Greater Miami and the Beaches’ unique attractions.

Development in the district continued during the 1930s and 1940s. Buildings constructed in the Art Deco district during this time were mostly three-story walk up, many with exterior corridors. Many of these buildings incorporated the original “art deco” design. By the mid-1950s, most of the land area in the neighborhood had been built upon, and the area reached the mid-stage of its initial life cycle. The general economic conditions in the South Miami Beach area during the 1950s and early 1960s were relatively healthy.

Lincoln Road Mall had become one of the premier shopping districts in the area. While there were new and more upscale hotels (like the Fontainebleau and Eden Roc) built to the north of South Beach, attractions like the Jackie Gleason Show at the Convention Center helped maintain the stability of the South Beach area. During this time period, the proportion of year round residents in the area increased.

A notable trend of decline became evident in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The Art Deco District was largely becoming a home to lower income retirees from the northeast. Residential buildings in the area exhibited increasing signs of deferred maintenance. Hotels along Collins Avenue and Ocean Drive began to experience financial difficulties. Lincoln Road began to lose the reputation as Miami Beach’s most fashionable retail area, as the Bal Harbour Shops to the north provided increasing competition. This trend continued throughout the 1970s, despite some early efforts at revitalization. The first effort to reverse the trend of decline was the South Beach Redevelopment Plan in the early 1970s. The plan called for a complete reconstruction of virtually the entire area of Miami Beach south of 5th Street under a master plan concept, and included the construction of a series of canals and numerous high-density residential buildings. Land was to be acquired by a quasi-public agency with limited eminent domain powers. However, the redevelopment effort became mired in political disputes and never got off the ground, and as a result the area continued to decline.

In the area to the north of 5th Street (essentially the Art Deco District, the Washington Avenue Commercial District and the Ocean Drive Entertainment District), community efforts for rejuvenation continued after the demise of the South Beach Redevelopment Plan during the latter part of the 1970s and into the early 1980s. However, the concept of a public or quasi-public agency acquiring land in a planned redevelopment effort would not be a component of any new plan. In essence, individual owners/investors would have to lead the way with individual projects. Some early efforts were undertaken, but it was not until the late 1980s to early 1990s that a critical mass was obtained.

By 1990-1991, the rejuvenation of South Miami Beach was well underway. The Art Deco District was evolving as a viable rental area for younger and more affluent tenants. Many of the older residential buildings in the district were purchased by investors who completed significant rehabilitation, but generally retained the original unit mix. This area contains the city’s Art Deco District a one square mile area containing more than 650 architecturally significant buildings designed in the Art Deco and Mediterranean Revival styles. The area contains the largest collection of Art Deco architecture in the country. Developed in the 1930's when Art Deco was the contemporary style, the district is the Nation's youngest historical district and was placed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

Active apartment building operators included the Chrisken Group, Streamline and DACRA. These investors and others acquired numerous buildings in the Art Deco District in the late 1980s and early 1990s and completed a range of renovation/rehabilitations. The majority of the projects involved rehabilitations, which entailed new painting, some new appliances, floor refinishing, some new windows and some fixture upgrading. Generally, these projects are referred to as moderate rehabs. Rental rates obtained for the rehabilitated units were typically $150 to $200 per month higher than previously, and tenants tended to be much younger. In some of the buildings acquired, extensive reconfiguration and renovation were completed. In these projects, the original unit mix was substantially altered, usually to create fewer and larger units. These units generally were rented at the high end of the range for the district. Some early attempts at condominium conversion were made in the late 1980s and during 1990-91. In general, these early attempts were not very successful. However, the concept of condominiums in the area began to take hold during late 1991 and early 1992.

Most of the condominium sale activity, which has taken place in the Art Deco District, has involved rehabilitations or renovations of older existing buildings. This is partly because zoning regulations in the district do not allow for demolition of existing structures. In an effort to preserve the Art Deco design of the area, the ordinance maintains that the exterior walls of any existing structure in the district may not be altered. Thus, rehabilitation/renovation must maintain the existing exterior of any existing building in the district.

There is a very small inventory of vacant lots in the district. Most of the development took place prior to the 1950s. Since that time until relatively recently, it has not been feasible to develop these lots. With the successful renovation/conversion of existing buildings for a more upscale clientele, developers discovered that higher income residents could be drawn to the area, and the new condominium market began to evolve.

During 2004-2006 the trend to condominium conversion of traditional apartment buildings was in full swing. This was the result, not only of the developers’ successful marketing efforts and the recent popularity of South Beach as an entertainment venue, but it is also reflective of the economic realities of the times. Landlords have been squeezed by rising operating costs that are largely driven by increased real estate taxes and, in the wake of several active hurricane seasons, sharply higher property insurance premiums. On the other hand, historically low mortgage interest rates were available to buyers for the past several years, driving an interest in equity ownership as opposed to renting. Thus, multi-family residential properties were attracting significant amounts of investment for the purpose of refurbishment, condominium conversion, and then re-sale as individual condominium units.

The area located in the southernmost portion of the City of Miami Beach, south of Fifth Street,  is known as “Sofi” for “South of Fifth” and previously known as the “Redevelopment Area.”  Fifth Street is a geographic divider between north and south and a major thoroughfare of the area for east and westbound traffic. This area  This the southernmost tip of Miami Beach known as South Pointe, adjacent to the Government Cut waterway, the access to the Port of Miami used primarily for the cruise lines and international cargo.

While the redevelopment area no longer exists in South Pointe, the zoning of the area is still based upon performance standards zoning set down as part of the old plan. The old plan encouraged high density development, assemblages and development of this area which historically was made up of small commercial properties and apartment buildings whose improvements had reached the end of their economic life.

The zoning in the rest of Miami Beach is mostly RM which is multifamily, and CD, a commercial zoning, in South Pointe there is RPS-1 (residential performance standard) 1 thru 4, and CPS (commercial performance standard) 1 thru 4. There are some extra requirements regarding open space in these areas, lot frontages and accessory uses. The zoning provides no large advantage relative to other portions of Miami Beach. 

View southwest of Ocean Drive and Art Deco buildings - Photo by
Britt J. Rosen

Over the past ten years, among the most successful high rise luxury condominiums in Miami-Dade County were developed in the South Pointe area. Joe’s Stone Crab, Smith & Wolensky, and Penrods are all located in this “Sofi” area of South Beach and within walking distance of the subject. The Miami Beach Marina is also in this area, on the Biscayne Bay side of the island on the west portion of the neighborhood. Property values in the overall area have been increasing and continue to show steady growth. Lincoln Road has undergone extensive renovations and is steadily gaining popularity with the local residents as well as visitors to the area.

The boundaries of the Art Deco District are: Hank Meyer Boulevard (17th Street) to the north, 6th Street to the south, Ocean Drive to the east and Lennox Avenue to the west. The neighborhood boundaries extend down to the southernmost tip of Miami Beach. Miami Beach was incorporated in 1915 and, according to the year 2000 census, contains approximately 87,533 residents in a 7.1 square mile area. It is the fourth largest municipality in Miami-Dade County. The City of Miami Beach has long been a desirable tourist destination for both foreign and domestic travelers. With the redevelopment of south Miami Beach most beach hotels are filled to capacity with little or no vacancies.

View of South Beach, Lummis Park and Boardwalk - Photo by Britt J. Rosen

Map of South Beach with list of major buidlings

Mark Zilbert, Realtor

View along Alton Road looking north from the newly completed Apogee

Aerial view of the area "south of fifth" or "Sofi"

View of Bently Bay Condo from pool deck.  This building was designed by Arquitectonica to look like a sail. 

 

There was a problem returning the RSS feed.
Info on South Beach and Link to Local Blogs:
 
Want to Fly to Miami from London in 5 Hours? American Airlines is Trying to Make it Happen
8/16/2022 1:55 PM
 Thanks to American Airlines" recent purchase of 20 new supersonic planes, passengers may soon be able to travel from Miami to London in less than five hours...Read More
 
Plans for a 30 Story Tower in North Miami Beach are Announced by BH Group
8/15/2022 3:57 PM
After purchasing land in North Miami Beach, developer BH Group is planning a 30-story residential structure located at 2261 N.E. 164th Street...Read More
 
Bad Bunny and David Grutman Unveil Gekkō at Grand Opening in Brickell
8/12/2022 3:17 PM
Thanks to Bad Bunny, David Grutman, and Groot Hospitality, the bustling Brickell district of Miami has new eating alternatives. The world"s most streamed music artist and the restauranteur have officially debuted Gekkō, their new joint venture...Read More
 
The Elser Hotel & Residences Unveiled with Exclusive Party Hosted by PMG and Greybrook
8/11/2022 3:34 PM
A party celebrating the unveiling of the 49-story luxury condominium tower known as The Elser Hotel & Residences was held on Wednesday, August 3rd, by PMG and Greybrook...Read More
 
Famous NYC Restaurant Rao’s Opening Soon in Miami Beach
8/10/2022 3:39 PM
The iconic New York City eatery Rao"s, noted for both its exclusivity and its red-sauce cuisine, is establishing a presence in Miami Beach...Read More
 
Melo Group Tops Off Construction of URBAN 22
8/9/2022 2:56 PM
Seven months after breaking ground, the Edgewater twin-tower apartment building known as URBAN 22 has officially topped off on construction...Read More
 
Developers File Coastline Review for a 30 Story Mixed Use Tower
8/8/2022 2:00 PM
In North Bay Village at 1755 Kennedy Causeway, B Developments under the LGE NBV, LLC submitted a request to Miami-Dade County for a coastline review. Arquitectonica was hired by the developer to create a mixed-use structure that would be 345 feet tall, 30 floors tall, and directly face Biscayne Bay...Read More
 
Ken Griffin’s Citadel Continues to Purchase Land and Properties in Miami
8/5/2022 3:58 PM
With a record-breaking purchase on the South Florida waterfront months ago, Ken Griffin has officially moved the Citadel"s headquarters from Chicago to Miami at the 830 Brickell new construction tower...Read More
 
Plans for a 12 Story Tower in Surfside was Filed
8/4/2022 3:37 PM
This week, developer Multiplan of South Florida filed plans for a 12 story tower that will be located in Surfside...Read More
 
Chicago Hedge Fund Citadel Establishes New Headquarters at 830 Brickell Tower
8/3/2022 4:32 PM
Less than two months after announcing that he was relocating the Citadel hedge fund from Chicago to Miami and planning to establish a new headquarters, billionaire Ken Griffin signed a significant lease for the company"s premises at 830 Brickell...Read More




Info on South Beach and Link to Local Blogs:
 
Kevin Tomlinson: Miami Beach Macro Market Update; On Point Venetian Island Estate Wows
7/20/2016 6:34 AM
Miami Beach real estate market is in flux. Sales have been light and the unsold inventory is growing as MIami Beach homes sit on the market. Kevin Tomlinson profiles a magnificent, newly built Venetian Island home that stands out from the rest of the Miami Beach waterfront homes for sale...Read More
 
2014 Miami Beach Luxury Waterfront Real Estate Sales – Prices Surge on Low Inventory and 2015 Predictions
2/18/2015 9:57 AM
Miami Beach luxury waterfront homes continue to be a hot commodity with inventory being scarce and prices rising 16% Y-0-Y, the average waterfront home in Miami Beach is now a record $6.7M. Land prices have surged and number of sales and values are at unprecedented heights. Prediction for 2015? More of the same. Read more... ...Read More
 
I’m Back! Miami Beach Real Estate: Single Family Waterfront Sales for 2013
1/12/2015 2:31 PM
I know, I know. I ‘ve been gone. Gone! But I’m back. In the year and a half I’ve been away, I’ve seen exactly ONE blog post from other sources that I consider great. Most of the stuff that gets pushed out to you is for reasons other than simply delivering useful info. I’m actually […...Read More
 
EXCLUSIVE: Venetian Island Home Sells for over $15M- Breaks Multiple Records
9/17/2013 7:50 PM
In off-market sale, 420 W. Rivo Alto Drive Sells for Whopping $15,079,600 or $1872 psf. Since the home wasn’t listed and was recently completed by the previous owner, not much is known about this home. Additionally, the tax records have yet to be updated with the new home specs but the seller confirmed that the […...Read More
 
1 Hotel & Residences South Beach
8/1/2013 2:40 AM
A Miami Beach Condo & Condo-Hotel with a Storied Past and Starry Future! I"ve never really devoted a post entirely to a Miami Beach real estate project, so this is a bit odd but FUN for me. The reason I decided to is because 1 Hotel & Residences South Beach is the last development of its kind in this area. Here"s what it looked like long,...Read More
 
Breaking News: Setai South Beach Condo Sale Breaks Record… AGAIN
5/29/2013 3:16 AM
Setai South Beach breaks another record for a non-penthouse-type unit. The last 12 months have seen new benchmarks for ultra-luxury condos. The Miami Beach EDITION reports a $34M double-penthouse sale at the project, which yields $3,800/SF...Read More
 
Miami Beach Real Estate: 2012 South of Fifth Condo Stats
4/18/2013 12:01 PM
2012 Miami Beach real estate statistics for the ultra-luxe SoFi (South of Fifth) neighborhood in South Beach. In 2012 SoFi continued to flex and show off just how in demand this neighborhood is...Read More
 
2013 Y/E Stats for South Beach Condo Index – South of Fifth Condos
1/21/2013 5:45 AM
Miami Beach Real Estate and Analysis by Kevin Tomlinson We agents who specialize in Miami Beach real estate get spoiled very easily.  While it is true that I am writing this post 2 years after the end of 2013, 2013 was a very blah year compared to 2012. Ocean House fired up the market with the […...Read More
 
Stratosphere: 2012 Miami Beach Waterfront Real Estate Sales Soar to Heights Unseen- UPDATED
1/8/2013 11:24 PM
Miami Beach and Indian Creek Village Waterfront Sales for 2012. Real estate records were broken in all sectors, including: highest sale, highest sales volume and number of transactions. Land sale records were also broken, as older homes are to be demolished, and some lots joined together to make estate-sized properties...Read More
 
Miami Beach Luxury Real Estate – Q3 Waterfront Stats: Ultra-Luxury INSANITY
12/31/2012 2:18 PM
I really didn’t plan on doing a Q3 stats analysis of Miami Beach luxury waterfront homes, but with such incredible activity, especially in the ultra-high-end ($10M+) range, the stats are so out-of-control good that I just HAD to. The big story of 2012 is the number of homes and parcels of land that sold in the […...Read More