By: Ismael Rodriguez

Wynwood, a 50-square-block neighborhood harboring the largest collection of street art and murals in the world, continues to flourish and expand through retail, galleries, restaurants and new start-up ventures, soaring its prices for land and rented space.

Between 2012 and 2016, the land prices have quintupled and lease rates doubled as a result of the neighborhood’s relentless growth and its alluring makeup of art, authenticity, culture and location—named one of “15 Great Places in America” by the American Planning Association.

The neighborhood’s 2017 market report, conducted by the Commercial Industrial Association of South Florida, informed of a rapid price increase within the past four years in Wynwood. The report showed the maximum lease price per square foot elevated from $40 in 2012 to $100 in 2016. Not to mention, the average land price in 2016 was $300 per square foot compared to $50 in 2012, while the average building price skyrocketed from $200 per square foot in 2012 to $1,000 in 2016.

A panel of developers gathered last week to discuss the market report, hopeful of the neighborhood’s future if investors and owners can create a balance between immense profits with retail establishments and affordable housing.

“My biggest nightmare is if it became fast food alley or retailers were brought in that don’t keep in the spirit of what Wynwood is,” Tony Cho, founder and CEO of Metro 1, told the press. “We need to be responsible in how we curate our buildings and our projects.”

The developers also told the press that despite the spike in rents and land prices, Wynwood remains a bargain compared to places like Lincoln Road or Coconut Grove.

“Obviously rents are going up, but Wynwood is still 50 percent cheaper,” Gaston Miculitzki, BM2 Realty Partner, told the press. “My biggest concern is owners of properties or land who are just holding onto it and not activating it.”

Since the neighborhood’s renaissance began in the early 2000’s, led by Tony Goldman, who collaborated with a few developers and street artists to transform the area, the land has become one of Miami-Dade’s most visited destinations. Filled with storefronts, Wynwood has led to the success of many local businesses. From eateries and café’s like Panther Coffee and Zach the Baker, to retailers like Shinola, Marine Layer and Warby Parker.