Real Estate investors and international buyers now have even more options when looking for waterfront properties in Miami, thanks to billion dollar investments from global real estate development giants such as The Related Group, Swire Properties of Hong Kong, and the Chetrit Group. KAR, a global real estate investment and development firm, has invested over $150 million in Miami’s established areas and has snapped up a portfolio of various vacant lands in the last few years in emerging neighborhoods such as the city’s riverfront. The Miami riverfront is stated as the “last remaining stretch of undeveloped waterfront property in a city where waterfront residences are real estate gold”, according to news reports.

The options for mixed used developments, and waterfront homes and condos in the Miami real estate market mainly concentrated on oceanfront, island and bayfront properties; but now developers are changing the way people think about riverfront real estate. With urban riverfront redevelopment In Miami on the rise, more investors and developers are looking to delve into the riverfront renaissance in hopes of cashing in on the areas potential for economic and real estate development in the long run. Demand made the riverfront attractive to some investors who saw the availability of land dwindle in waterfront areas such as Miami Beach, Sunny Isles Beach and Biscayne Bay and many beachfront neighborhoods.  The Miami River flows to Biscayne Bay and the areas surrounding it is the latest emerging community to see a rise in residential towers attracting developers and investors, alike.  

While ocean and bayfront land are developers target areas for luxury development projects, the Miami riverfront already has a few residences that have been built in the last few years. Historically, the Miami River was where Miami's first hotel, the Royal Palm, in 1896 was sited, along with Miami's first courthouse and post office, during the city’s initial development stage. With redevelopment now underway, after an $89 million dredging and cleanup, the river’s improvements gained the attention of many private sector developments, and today the Miami River is an example of a complete Renaissance. According to reports redevelopment into the Miami River over the last decade has resulted in the construction/planning of 55 new buildings which would offer 15,960 new residential units and more than 750 five-star hotel rooms.

On the river, restaurants, retail and recreational spaces has replaced the warehouses, outlets and storefronts of the past with many other developments on the horizon.  In Miami’s newly built Brickell City Center, tenant Saks Fifth Avenue opened its new department store on the river paving the way for many more luxury brands. According to news reports, over six miles of the 10-mile, $21 million Miami River Greenway has been built merging together ten different parks and green spaces. The most recent planned development on the Miami riverfront will be One River Point, a symbolic representation of the future Miami River developments to come. One River will rise 780 feet from the river and offers two glass towered residences with one, two and three-bedroom residences offered from $850,000 to $12 million for standard residences and higher for the penthouses condos. In the area along the riverfront dozens of residential and retail spaces are planned turning the Miami River into the next global destination for those seeking the Miami lifestyle.

Miami designates 4th Foreign Trade Zone

The latest development to boost Miami’s status as a global city comes in the establishment of a new Foreign Trade Zone designation for the 79th Street Corridor announced by PortMiami Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ 281). The rare move will attract more diverse business opportunities, and opens the area for economic growth and job stimulus. Approved by the Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) board, and in part by US Customs and Border Protection, Miami-Dade is home to only four foreign trade zones, including one approved application for Miami International Airport.

New opportunities the zone generates will create synergies with international partners, increase foreign trade, enhance cargo service and diversify the Ports revenue stream. “Following years of significant economic and social challenges, the Corridor is reemerging with recent commercial and residential developments, and the Foreign Trade Zone designation now helps to strengthen the Corridor’s business infrastructure.” shares Ron Butler, Executive Director of the 79th Street Corridor in a press release.

Foreign trade zones appeal to international and local businesses because the sites allow goods to be unloaded, manufactured, reassembled, tested, sampled, processed, repacked and re-exported without the intervention of US customs authorities. Small, medium and large businesses in the area will enjoy the benefits resulting from the FTZ designation, which also serves the community through new job opportunities and the chance for the area to become a hub for entrepreneurship and other economic developments and initiatives.  In the press release announcement, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez stated, "It is an excellent competitive resource that benefits importers and exporters, warehouse operators, manufacturers, and third party logistics providers. We are proud to welcome the 79th Street Corridor Initiative to FTZ 281 PortMiami, and wish them much success.”

Active FTZs are considered to be outside of the commerce and customs territory of the US and according to the federal program, Foreign trade zone users pay no duties on re-exports and helps to foster the operation of U.S. participation in international trade. Participants are not subject to customs duties and federal excise taxes on imports and duties are eliminated on waste, scrap and rejected or defective parts. The reduction in cost results in the market and businesses becoming more globally competitive involvement from other regulatory compliance agencies are usually minimized or deferred. Potential site users in the trade zone include auto parts, electronics, textiles, footwear, perishables, metals, minerals, pharmaceuticals, machinery equipment companies and much more. The PortMiami Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ 281), established for the 79th street Corridor, is a general-purpose foreign trade zone established under the Alternative Site Framework (ASF) About 250 general-purpose zones and over 500 subzones are approved in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, according to the Foreign-Trade Zones Board. The Corridor’s central location, near the PortMiami, Miami International Airport, the Miami River, Downtown Miami, and I-95 make it an ideal designation to help grow the city’s infrastructure and international trade and business relations.