Miami is a city that seems to reinvent itself every ten years or so.
Change is a constant. Neighborhoods are always reinventing themselves. Cranes and jackhammers are always busy erecting new buildings. We’re so used to it, sometimes we don’t even notice when it happens.
In fact, looking back just 10 years ago, some areas of the city are nearly unrecognizable. So Miami New Times decided to take a tour back in time thanks to Google Map’s street views and compared ten neighborhoods to what they looked like less than a decade ago.
Then: A warehouse district that had a couple of art galleries moving in.
Ten years ago artists space and galleries had already started moving into the neighborhood, but the only time people actually went was during the Second Saturday art walk. (Of course, at that time you could actually see lots of good art —and drink lots of free booze.) Now, many of the galleries have moved out. The best art is painted on the buildings, and the former warehouse spaces are now lined with boutiques, cafés, and office space
Then: A shopping district focused on all your interior design needs.
Now: A shopping district focused on all your designer clothing needs.
The Design District pulled off a neat trick in which it completely changed what it is without having to change its very specific name. A decade ago the area was where rich people sent their interior designer to shop for furniture. Then developer Craig Robins came in and turned it into an area where rich people shop for clothes.
Then: A place tourists only went because their car was towed.
Now: A place tourists go because they read about a cute café on Yelp.
Sunset Harbour used to be where South Beach hid its blight. Now the area is home to some of Miami Beach’s best restaurants, two brand new grocery stores, and more construction to come.
Then: Losing its soul.
Now: Finding a new soul.
Once Miami’s “hippie” neighborhood back in the day, Coconut Grove served as a warning of what can happen to a neighborhood when it allows chain stores and restaurants to come in and take over. At least ten years ago, Coconut Grove still had its reputation as college kid’s go-to drinking spot, but a 2008 ordinance pushedlast call up to 3 a.m., taking much of the remaining fun out of the area.
Now Coconut Grove is finally trying to get its groove back.
Then: Cheap neighborhood with old homes in a good location.
Now: Expensive neighborhood with new luxury high-rises in a good location.
It seems one Russian billionaire or another buys up a plot of land with plans to turn it into an exclusive luxury high-rise in this neighborhood every other week.
Now: Lots, lots, and lots more high-rises.
Brickell’s character hasn’t actually changed that much, there’s just a lot, lot more of it nowadays.
Then: Quirky shopping district
Now: Miami’s fast-fashion capital
Lincoln Road’s renaissance began in the late ’80s, and by the 2000s the pedestrian mall had taken on a unique, quirky flavor. Sure, there was a Gap and Johnny Rockets, but there were also theaters, gay clubs, jazz hangouts, and New Age crystal shops. Now it’s completed its metamorphosis into a home for shopping mall stores like H&M, Forever 21, and Lululemon. At least there’s a really cool parking garage now.
Then: Abandoned motels and blight
Now: Boutique motels and charm
The Upper Eastside’s MiMo architecture was always charming, but locals seemed to have forgotten for a while. Now, developers have restored some of those old motels, and with them, the character of the neighborhood.
SOUTH OF FIFTH (SoFi)
Then: South Beach’s quiet neighborhood
Now: South Beach’s neighborhood full of jackhammer noise.
With the revitalization of South Pointe Park, scores of new nightclubs and restaurants, and new construction, the South of Fifth area isn’t quite as quiet as it used to be.
Then: Destination for New York grandmothers
Now: Destination for New York hipsters
Ten years ago, the area was the beach’s forgotten district. Now it’s booming with boutique hotels, craft cocktails bars, private clubs, and some of the city’s hottest night spots.
Source: Miami New Times