Real estate developer Craig Robins is going all in to transform the Design District into the flossiest destination in Miami. He's investing $312 million to bring in the biggest names in high-end luxury fashion, from Louis Vuitton to Hermès to Céline. To protect that investment, Robins spends 1 million bucks a year on 24-hour security patrolling the Design District, where he owns 65 percent of the land.
That's because wherever big-money spenders go, criminals are sure to follow. This week, New Times probes a series of crimes in the Design District and its surrounding streets and considers how those incidents will affect Robins's plans.
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A group of professional shoplifters stole $37,495 worth of merchandise from the temporary Louis Vuitton store at 170 NE 40th St. on November 21 (they also ripped off other Vuitton stores). Since then, there has been a rash of crimes in the Design District and the surrounding area. During one of the robberies, a January 21 heist at Harry's Pizzeria at 3918 N. Miami Ave., a gunman pistol-whipped one of the employees.
Robins insists crime is not a threat to the Design District. "It concerns me to have any incidents occur," he says in the article. "Luxury malls and neighborhoods attract a certain amount of crime. However, we have less crime than other major luxury retail properties in South Florida."