Tony Goldman, Wynwood and South Beach Developer, Dead at 68

See Tony Goldman, Restaurateur and Entrepreneur, Dies at 68; Tony and Jessica Goldman: They Heart Miami.

Tony Goldman, founder of Goldman Properties and developer of Miami neighborhoods like South Beach and Wynwood, died in New York Tuesday. He was 68.

Starting in the 1980s, Goldman helped to transform South Beach from a low-key retirement scene into the high-end vacation destination and party place it is today. His most recent neighborhood project was Wynwood, where he persuaded the city to ease parking restrictions and ushered in arts projects like the murals at Wynwood Walls to draw the city's creatives.

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Goldman's publicist Susan Brustman confirmed to the Miami Herald that Goldman died of heart failure in a New York hospital at age 68 with his family at his side.

Goldman, who'd been a successful real estate developer and restaurateur in New York, first turned his eye on Miami during a trip in 1985. He began buying neglected Art Deco buildings in South Beach, ending up with 18 in total, and helped to transform the area into a luxury travel destination.

His next project -- revitalizing Wynwood -- began in the 2000s, when the company began buying warehouses and other properties around town. He worked with the city to make the area more visitor-friendly, and helped to make turn the once run-down community into an arts hub.

In 2011, Goldman was featured in New Times' People issue. At that time, he spoke of being captivated by Wynwood's potential.

"Being urbanites and New Yorkers -- street people -- we're not in any way intimidated by the toughness of a community," he said. "What my son and I saw there was the kind of grittiest grid system we've seen in Miami -- a collection of similar-style buildings with no distinct architectural value." It was, he said, "the perfect setup for what did not exist in Miami -- a central arts district."

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