From JCK Online:
From my room at the Thompson Hotel, which is located on the northern end of South Beach, I could see why developers are gaga over this hallowed coast. Even though I live in sunny Los Angeles, a dip in the Pacific Ocean is, at best, invigorating and, at worst, hypothermia inducing. By contrast, the water off the coast of southern Florida is a warm salt bath, free of pounding waves and perfect for bathing beauties, of which there are plenty. L.A. may have a reputation for attracting the beautiful people, but based on my anecdotal research, Miami is a magnet for European and Latin models of all persuasions.
For the luxury industry, the burgeoning Miami Design District is the cherry on top. The brainchild of developer Craig Robins, the district, which is located about 10 minutes west of South Beach, is home to one of the most exciting retail developments in the world.
Robins—who serves as president and CEO of Dacra, the real estate firm behind the revitalization of South Beach and Lincoln Road, among other Miami destinations—began buying up properties in Miami’s old furniture district in the late 1990s. He later partnered with L Real Estate, an LVMH-affiliated private equity real estate fund, to transform the down-on-its-heels neighborhood into a luxury retail mixed-use destination that features public art installations, cutting-edge architecture, progressive design, and fashion-savvy retailers.