BEST MILE OF MIAMI - 2004
North Miami Avenue between 20th and 36th streets
In this sixteen-block stretch of Miami's Wynwood neighborhood you can see the past and the future simultaneously. Not long ago it was a forlorn and forbidding stretch of warehouses punctuated by abandoned storefronts and the occasional bodega or bar. Today it is the spine of what has come to be known as the Wynwood Art District. First came the artists themselves, who'd fled Miami Beach's inflated prices to set up studios in spacious, affordable, but dilapidated old buildings. Then came gallerists who gambled by opening commercial venues to show the artists' work in an area more menacing than welcoming. Then came the early real estate speculators who saw potential. They were followed by a stampede of speculators who feared they'd be too late. Now the area has a future, though it appears it will be dominated by a single massive development project that will soon break ground. Dubbed Midtown Miami and covering some 56 acres along the east side of North Miami Avenue between 29th and 36th streets, it will be a city unto itself -- 3000 condominiums, 1000 apartments, 100,000 square feet of office space, and 1,000,000 square feet of commercial space. By the time it is completed, the artists undoubtedly will have migrated yet again, urban nomads cursed by their own foresight.