At 4.6 square miles, Allapattah is an eclectic landscape of warehouses, single-family homes, apartment buildings, hospitals, justice facilities, restaurants, shops, and art museums.
In recent years, the predominantly working-class Miami neighborhood has become something else: the next frontier of real estate development.
Real estate insiders said Allapattah won’t have the same fate as Wynwood, with office and retail rents are among the highest in South Florida. For one thing, it is more than three times the size of Wynwood. For another, real estate investment there has been at a moderate tempo, at least so far, said Francisco “Paco” De La Torre, an artist who transformed two Allapattah industrial buildings into arts studios and offices.
“It’s been a slow and steady growth,” he said. However, since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, that growth has manifested at a “stronger, steadier pace.”
Among Allapattah’s agents of change are Don and Mera Rubell and their son Jason. The family of prominent art collectors moved their collection’s exhibition site from Wynwood to a 100,000-square-foot warehouse building at 110 N.W. 23rd St. in Allapattah in 2019. Since then, the Rubells have converted two other neighboring warehouses to display their art. Their most recent acquisition is the 45,711-square-foot former Rex Discount Wholesale warehouse at 1090 N.W. 23rd St., purchased for $10.7 million in 2022.
In 2019, Jorge Pérez, founder of Miami-based Related Group, turned a 28,000-square-foot warehouse at 2270 N.W. 23rd St. into an art exhibition space called El Espacio Twenty Three.
On the multifamily apartment front, Neology Life Development Group, led by Lissette Calderon, completed No. 17 Residences, a 13-story, 192-unit market-rate apartment building at 1569 N.W. 17th Ave., in 2021. Two more 14-story apartment complexes – the 237-unit Fourteen Allapattah Residences and the 323-unit The Julia – will be finished in six months, she said.
Alfredo Riascos, principal of Miami-based Gridline Properties, said most of Allapattah’s warehouses will either remain industrial uses or be converted into office or art-related uses. But along its major vehicular corridors, developers will have an incentive through the Live Local Act to replace warehouses with workforce housing projects.
“Allapattah is a [desirable] market, given its location in the Miami urban core and the vicinity to downtown Miami, Wynwood and the Medical District,” he said.