Neil Fairman, founder and chairman of Plaza Equity Partners, was once skeptical about building anything in Miami’s Little Haiti or Little River. Most of his company’s projects were luxury waterfront high-rises in places such as Miami’s Edgewater, South Beach, North Miami Beach and Hollywood.
But Fairman’s friend, Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté, wanted him to see some properties being assembled near 61st Street and Northeast Second Avenue in Little Haiti.
After touring the area, Fairman began to view it as ripe for opportunity – and he wanted in.
Since 2017, Fairman’s Plaza Equity Partners has been the managing developer of the Magic City Innovation District, an 18-acre territory that includes a former trailer park and dozens of warehouses. In the next few years, there will likely be 8.2 million square feet of apartments, hotels, offices, retail and exhibition space built there.
The warehouses have been converted into over 200,000 square feet of retail and office space that is now 90% leased, Fairman said.
Other investors and developers have followed suit, investing millions of dollars into the Little Haiti-Little River area, two overlapping neighborhoods bounded by Interstate 95, 54th Street, Northeast Fourth Court and the Little River canal.
Industry insiders say there are plenty of opportunities for more stakeholders to build projects there.