The area known as Miami’s Design district was once known originally just as Buena Vista. It was a neighborhood filled with warehouses and buildings intended for industrial use, but by the 1980’s it had fallen badly into disrepair. Credit for the development of the Design District has been given to Craig Robins, a man from the Miami area, who saw the area as an untapped resource.
Robins began to acquire properties and to renovate them, later attracting businesses and brands to the sites. As others began to invest and to beautify the region, the sidewalks were redone, trees were planted, and a complete transformation began to take place. The region is perfect for pedestrians wanting to take in the sights on foot. It is also a scant ten minutes from the beach and is close to Miami’s downtown.
As Robins’ work on the community grew, groups like L Real Estate got involved as did other brands. Designers and art dealers set up shops in the redesigned historic buildings, and high-end retailers began to move in. Before long, celebrities were buzzing about the area. It has been jokingly said that if you haven’t seen a celebrity in the Design District that you must be blind.
Well-known people like Beyonce, Donald Trump, Kate Hudson, George Clooney, Madonna, and Sylvester Stalone have been seen in and around the various stores. On any given night, the restaurants, bars, and art galleries have been known to host a variety of famous people. The bustling night life is a beacon to those looking to have some fun, whether tourists or starlets. This fashionable area is known for its nostalgic vibe reminiscent of old Miami and yet for being hip and modern.
Architects Alison Spear, Chad Oppenheim, and HOK set themselves up in the district, as did photographer Iran Issa-Khan. Art galleries Art Fusion, Artformz, and Diaspora Vibe made their home there, as did upscale fashion designers Louis Vuitton, Agnona, Dior Homme and Prada. Restaurants like the Crumb On Parchment, Gavanna, and The Embassy opened up, as did bars and drinking establishments.
There are currently plans for more buildings to be constructed and for more spaces to be available for retail. Not only are there beautiful things to behold within the Art District’s galleries, but the area hosts a bevy of art exhibits and events designed to bring the arts out into the open. Every second Saturday the doors of many Art showrooms invite visitors in for music, beverages, and a cultural experience they won’t soon forget.