Miami Herald Finally Realizes That Developers Realized That Hipsters Think Edgewater Is a Cool Place to Live

Categories: Unreal Estate

Icon Bay, currently under construction in Edgewater.
Earlier this week, in a cringe-worthy turn of phrase The Miami Herald business section declared that Miami's Edgewater neighborhood is "located at the intersection of funky and trendy" after realizing, a few years too late, the neighborhood has experienced some classic gentrification. Of course, the Herald only bothered to get around to writing the story because developers are starting to build new luxury high-rise condos in the neighborhood. And whenever developers are involved, the Herald's instinct is to dutifully drop to its knees.

Bordered by Biscayne Bay and Biscayne Boulevard on the east and west and 36th and 17th streets to the north and south, Edgewater abuts the Design District and Wynwood and is just a five-minute jaunt to downtown and a short trip over the Julia Tuttle Causeway to South Beach. Unlike those neighborhoods, and despite its bayside status, Edgewater has been a bit slower in emerging from classic Miami '80s urban blight. Its relatively cheap rents (in aging buildings) and prime locations have made it a hot spot for younger people who live and play in the surrounding neighborhoods but can't quite afford the rent for at least another decade.

I have lived here for the past five years, and, as the Herald points out, it has continued along a path of gentrification toward a generally safer neighborhood.

One morning during the first few months I lived there, I decided to take advantage of the fact that I lived so close to Biscayne Bay. So I awoke early, walked to the end of my block, and gazed at the water for a while thinking it would rejuvenate me and bring some positive spiritual power to the beginning of my day. Instead, an old man began creepily chatting me up and wanted to take me fishing. After I refused, he cut to the chase and offered me $20 to let him blow me in his van. I refused both the offer and any instinct to return to the bay in the early hours ever again.

My car windows got smashed a couple of times. I started to shred things after I realized my trash would surely be rummaged through anytime I threw something out. I learned which people sleeping in doorways to avoid and which ones were generally harmless. During certain hours while walking home, I trained myself not to make eye contact with anyone walking on the street unless I wanted to be solicited for drugs or sex.

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Gentrification is a term used by condominium developers to sell units to unsuspecting foreigners who are unaware of the historical problems of a neighborhood.  Good luck living in any Miami neighborhood that has a history of problems.  Economy turns you are back to square one. 

cpchester topcommenter

Biscayne Blvd is such an inhospitable place to spend any time it just ruins Edgewater for me as a potential place to live. It could be a great main street if it had on-street parking, more crosswalks, maybe a bike lane, especially in MiMo district. Instead, it's a car sewer where people crash into bus stops and businesses can't meet their potential. Walking on Biscayne makes you feel like a termite. 


I really don't think that's entirely accurate. The rental prices in Edgewater, in post-2000 buildings (which dominate the area), hover around 1400-1800 for a one bedroom. This is a standard price for downtown, Brickell and Midtown. It's also considerably higher than other areas around Miami. Most of the people that live in the buildings are young, under the age of 40. I don't see a tremendous amount of younger people living in the older buildings, at least the ones between 17th and 25th. 

Edgewater development has a lot of promise; it will increase the gentrification (which will hurt a lot of people who have lived in older buildings for a long time, now forced out by an increase in rent), but that's going to happen as long as Miami continues to blossom. Furthermore, an increase in luxury condos will increase competition for rental companies looking for tenants. This will lead to a stabilization, or perhaps even a decrease, in rental prices for post-2000 condos. 

Ultimately, Miami is going through a renaissance. It's now uttered in the same sentences as Boston, SanFran, New York and DC. But it's still CONSIDERABLY cheaper than those other markets. 


That bubble it's growing again. 

Kenia West
Kenia West

Frrrack the herald. Read news times, its hip~

JoseDuran moderator communitymanager

@mworley I have lived in Edgewater for the past 5 years. All the old buildings and houses are FULL of young hipsters and professionals who can't yet afford a $1,400 a month rent, and who admittedly pushed out the Latin American immigrants who used to live there before.

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