By: Ismael Rodriguez

Despite new emerging neighborhoods like Little Havana and Little Haiti booming with developments and investments, Coral Gables, one of Miami’s most established communities, is also undergoing growth in the form of large-scale projects that are both public and private ventures.

The market in Coral Gables, particularly its retail landscape, has kept in par with Miami’s rapidly growing population and activity, proving that this historic neighborhood is ready for a dramatic change within the next coming months.

Downtown Coral Gables holds a respectable reputation for having high-end restaurants and upscale shops, like the Shops at Merrick Park, but a wave of diverse eateries and retailers is expected to wash over soon.

These new additions to and around the Merrick Park area come with new developments like the 227-residence Merrick Manor project, the city’s first luxury residential project in over a decade, and other nearby developments currently at work.

In fact, more than 50 developments are in the works to open in Coral Gables, compiling over 2,700 new residential units, 1.4 million square feet of commercial space and 750 hotel rooms.

Taking into account the influx in population and the 2018 completions of Miracle Mile and Giralda Avenue streetscape beautification projects, the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce created a study in November 2016 that noted the importance of retail variety and accessibility of storefronts in the main shopping corridors like Miracle Mile.

After the firm’s results, the city hired Francesca Valdes, a business development specialist, to join its Economic Development Department and persuade new retailers and restaurants to find a home in Coral Gables.

Some of these businesses that Valdes had the pleasure of receiving interest from include tenants in sectors that include:

·      Chef-driven restaurant concepts (focusing on proven local/regional concepts with existing locations in areas like Brickell, Miami Beach, Wynwood and as far south as Key West)

·      Women and men’s fashion

·      Athletics— lifestyle wear, yoga and workout attire

·      Accessories (for men and women)

·       Home design