Development Opportunities in Miami’s Little River Neighborhood

Gentrification door mat (image courtesy of The Onion)
Courtesy of The Onion

Now that I have transitioned to commercial real estate brokerage full time, I’m here to tell (and sell) you on the next great Miami neighborhood to invest in. Miami’s Little River neighborhood has been an up and coming neighborhood in the last several years and this trend is likely to accelerate. My family and I have lived in the area for the past 11 years and we have enjoyed watching the transformation of the surrounding neighborhoods. Notable developers that have invested early in Little River include Vagabond Group (Avra Jain), Urban Atlantic Group (Nick Hamman), MVW Partners (Matthew Vander Werff), and Conway Commercial Real Estate (Thomas Conway).

Miami’s Little River neighborhood is loosely bordered by the Florida East Coast rail road tracks to the east, I-95 to the west, 79th Street to the north, and 62nd Street to the south. The neighborhood takes its name from the Little River that runs along its northern edge. Under Miami 21, Little River has been bestowed with favorable zoning that allows for dense and mixed-use developments to be built, such as T6-8-0, D1, D2, and T-5-O zoning designations.

Satellite map of Miami's Little River neighborhood
Little River, Miami

On the northern edge of the neighborhood lies 79th Street, which has a mixed-use T6-8-O zoning designation that allows for development of up to 8 floors and 150 dwelling units per acre by-right. Most of the buildings around 79th Street tend to be 1 or 2 stories, so almost all of the properties are not being utilized to their highest and best use. With an average daily traffic count of 26,000 vehicles per day, 79th Street is a major commercial street. It’s one of only a few roads that connects the western part of the county to Miami Beach.

Miami’s Little River neighborhood is well located about 6-miles north of downtown Miami. The neighborhood has excellent access to Miami Beach and I-95. The neighborhood sits on higher ground so most of it isn’t in a flood zone. Surrounding demographics are favorable. To the north and east lie the affluent communities of El Portal, Miami Shores, Belle Meade, Bayside, and Morningside.

Flood zone map for Miami's Little River neighborhood
Source: Miami-Dade County

Brightline recently announced that they will likely build a train station between NE 82nd Street and NE 79th Street. Once 79th Street Brightline station becomes a reality, we will likely see developers flocking to the neighborhood. Developers are already looking at the area in anticipation of the Brightline station, so expect activity along 79th Street to pick up even more once the Brightline station is formally announced.

If you’re looking to park a few dollars in a neighborhood with upside potential, look no further. Little River is a neighborhood investors should take note of. The location, surrounding demographics, and favorable zoning (within an opportunity zone as well) shouldn’t be overlooked. If you have a bit of patience and are playing the long game, bet the ranch on Miami’s Little River neighborhood.

Notable Projects
The Citadel
Ebb & Flow

Little River Family Favorites
– La Santa Taqueria (Ebb & Flow)
– Tran An (Ebb & Flow)
– Plantisserie
– Cindy Lou’s Cookies
– B & M Market
– Sherwoods Bistro
– US Burger Service (The Citadel)
– The Shores Fish Market (The Citadel)
– Focused Movement Academy (great family gym)
– Leon’s Garage (best and most honest mechanic in Miami)