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Kleber on Miami: 'We're Watching Another Manhattan Being Built'

Can Miami's infrastructure keep up?

The New York Times ran a feature on Miami's real estate boom at a macro level, with several intriguing nuggets spread throughout, led by JLL Managing Director Alan R. Kleber comparing the city to Manhattan.

"It’s become dynamic and vibrant, even for the naysayers," Mr. Kleber said of the last few years. "What you’re seeing is the densification of a city, right before your eyes. We’re watching another Manhattan being built."

While the Manhattan comp may be a bit of a stretch, the piece also mentioned Miami businesses are expected to add nearly 20,000 new office jobs over the next five years and the downtown population has doubled since 2000, with another 40 percent growth expected in the next three years.

Ezra Katz, CEO of Aztec Group, wasn't as high as other real-estate players quoted, pointing out it will "take several years to absorb the apartments and condos" already built or planned, while also expressing concern about the lack of improvements to the city's infrastructure.

"We have doubled the number of people living in the urban area, but new roads, transportation, parking, sidewalks and bridges haven’t appeared," Mr. Katz said. "We have set ourselves up for several years of congestion and traffic nightmares in and around downtown. Developers and government agencies saw the writing on the wall years ago and had the wherewithal to act, but didn’t. Now it’s too late."

No doubt It's an exciting time to be living in this evolving city but it's clear there's plenty of work needed to support the influx of people, housing, and jobs, not to mention laying the groundwork needed to lessen the impact of Climate Change.