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Smart Growth and New Urbanism in South Florida

by admin

By Teresa King Kinney, CEO, Realtor Association of Greater Miami and The Beaches

Urban sprawl is an important issue facing many communities in the United States. It can affect renters, homebuyers, businesses and overall quality of life.

Emphasizing the importance of managing growth well in our communities, the Realtor Association of Greater Miami and the Beaches (RAMB) recruited the Florida Association of Realtors (FAR) Smart Growth Conference to Miami. The event took place recently at the Hyatt Regency in Downtown Miami.

The Smart Growth and the New Urbanism Series, one of only two in the state, provided an overview of smart growth principles and issues, including a look at various current and future projects in South Florida and around the country. Speakers included Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart on Congress’ view of Smart Growth, and Miami Mayor Manny Diaz with an update on Miami 21.

According to conference speaker Dr. Charles C. Bohl, research associate professor at the University of Miami and director of the Knight Program in Community Building, this trend is beginning to change due to several converging factors:

• Changing attitudes and demographics
• Baby Boomers near retirement (focus on health and retirement)
• Different types of consumers (today less than 20 percent of households include married couples with 2.5 kids)

Those changes and new urbanism trends create increased business opportunities for real estate agents. Bohl pointed to the reasons well-managed growth will benefit South Florida agents:

• From 2000 to 2030, the U.S. population will grow by 34 percent, and the Florida population will grow by 56 percent
• Over 60 percent of the 10 million square feet of commercial space needed in 2030 in Florida has not yet been built
• Nearly 75 percent of the estimated 11.4 million housing units in Florida and 67 percent of the 2.36 million housing units in the Miami MSA in 2030 will have been built after the year 2000.

Miami River Real Estate Boat Tour
One of the major highlights of the conference was the Miami River Real Estate Boat Tour, hosted and sponsored by RAMB. The two-hour tour was conceptualized by RAMB Senior VP Maureen Levine, who worked with Brett Bibeau, executive director for the Miami River Commission, to develop the event.

Featuring over 30 developments, including luxury condos, affordable housing, retail commercial, restaurants, the planned “Riverwalk” and industrial properties, this tour sells out on every occasion. Local and out-of-state participants alike were impressed both by the extensive information provided and by the growth that has taken place in the areas adjacent to the Miami River.

RAMB and the Miami River Commission invite you to take a boat trip up the river. The vessel goes past boatyards, marinas, parks, tugboats, mangroves, historic homes, shippers, restaurants and loading dockets through the heart of downtown Miami into Biscayne Bay. The tour will take you as far as you can go to see the new developments and other opportunities for residential and commercial real estate investments.

Make your reservation early for the upcoming Miami River Boat tours: Monday, Nov. 13; Friday, Feb. 9; or in April (TBD). Email Xochitl Rieche, [email protected], to register.

The Realtor Association of Greater Miami and the Beaches (RAMB) includes 12,000 members in the Residential Association and over 1,000 members in the Realtors Commercial Alliance. The association also hosts the largest local International Real Estate Council in the nation, with 1,400 members. RAMB recently celebrated its 85th year of service to the industry, the public and the community.

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