This Week in Miami Real Estate: Historic homes in danger, slower property value growth and more

by Andrew Morrell

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The Coconut Grove home of late conservationist, women’s suffrage activist and author Marjory Stoneman Douglas is considered a National Historic Landmark, but its future may be in jeopardy. The Miami New Times reported that the home made it onto the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation’s annual “11 to Save” list of historic landmarks in the state under threat of falling into disrepair.

According to the FTHP, the Stoneman Douglas House was built in 1926 and resembles a quaint English country cottage. Though it was purchased by the state of Florida in 1991, the house lacks even a historical marker outside, and plans to turn it into a museum have fallen by the wayside. The FTHP warns that it is in need of significant repairs and greater public awareness.

Upon its purchase of the home, the state called Stoneman Douglas “one of Florida’s most distinguished citizens.” She is perhaps most known as an advocate for environmental protection, particularly the Florida Everglades, which her 1947 book “Everglades: River of Grass” redefined as a national treasure rather than a backwater swamp. Though she died in 1998, Stoneman Douglas has risen into broader public consciousness after a Parkland high school bearing her name was the site of one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history on February 14, 2018. The Miami New Times writes that “some observers have drawn parallels between Stoneman Douglas’ relentless fight to save the Everglades and [Parkland] students’ fight for what they call common-sense gun reform.”

In other Miami real estate news this week:

  • Although property values and subsequent tax revenues continue to climb throughout Miami, it has not translated into prosperity for all communities in the area. The Miami Herald reports that even though the city of Miami Beach saw its property values rise 4 percent in the last year, officials are planning budget cuts. This is primarily due to much slower growth in new construction within Miami Beach, according to the Herald, which fell to just $186 million this year, compared to $859 million last year, and well over $1 billion in 2016. Budget planners estimate around $5.5 million in spending will need to be cut in the next fiscal year, beginning Oct. 1. While the Herald reports that this will be achieved by reducing new hiring plans, it’s a trend that other top-tier coastal cities like Sunny Isles and Bal Harbour appear to be facing as well.
  • Susie Glass has left her role as vice president of marketing at Fortune International Group to lead her own development consulting firm, according to a report from The Real Deal Miami. Glass joined Fortune in 2016 and played a role in several key local developments, including Jade Signature, the Ritz-Carlton Residences, Una Residences, Brickell Flatiron and others. Glass will be replaced by Jennie King, formerly senior marketing director at Fortune.
  • A report from LendingTree using its database of more than 155 million properties found that Miami ranks ninth in the U.S. for cities with the highest share of million-dollar homes. LendingTree reports that as of June 2018, 3.79 percent of Miami homes were valued at $1 million or more. Three cities in California made the top three of the list, with San Jose earning the top spot, where more than half of all homes were worth at least $1 million.
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