Two local experts discuss downtown's exponential expansion and why the neighborhood has become the latest Magic City mecca.
ME Miami’s Olivier Servat and the Arsht Center’s Suzanna Valdez at the hotel, which aims to tap into downtown’s creative energy and buzzing cultural scene.
Consider the facts: According to a new report from the Downtown Development Authority, downtown Miami’s full-time population is up 32 percent since 2010 and 150 percent since 2000. Half of that number is made up of young professionals under the age of 44. So whether you get your daily dose of caffeine at neon-clad coffee shop All Day, watch the Heat take on the competition at the AmericanAirlines Arena, grab dinner at local favorites PB Station, NIU Kitchen, or Fooq’s, or party till sunrise with Drake or Calvin Harris at 24/7 showclub E11EVEN, there are always things to do in downtown. And especially now, since the luxuriously trendy hotel ME Miami and swanky steakhouse/club hybrid STK have taken up residence. Ocean Drive sat down with the hotel’s general manager, Olivier Servat, and Suzanna Valdez, vice president of advancement for the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, to discuss downtown’s transformation and exceptional offerings.
Olivier Servat: What’s great about downtown is that you can work and play. You can be in a meeting, go to a great restaurant or bar, or be at the beach in the next 10 minutes. People come on business and then extend their stay for leisure during the weekend. That’s not something you can do in other cities.
Suzanna Valdez: Downtown is Miami’s cultural corridor. There’s the Arsht Center, YoungArts, and the Pérez Art Museum Miami. I have a 6-year-old son, and I love the programming that PAMM has for families and children who love creativity.
OS: There are a variety of creatives activating this area and rejuvenating it with so much energy, especially the culinary scene. Great food is not enough anymore; you have to have a great vibe and genuine individual interaction. STK is providing that and complementing the existing offerings in downtown.
SV: Miami is the only city in this country, if not the world, that constantly redefines itself. With downtown, we’re building our urban core and have truly become a world-class city in the last decade. That’s the narrative of the Arsht Center, to be world-class but community-based. We bring the world’s best artists to our stages, but we provide something for our community.
OS: Downtown is all about the future. It’s different today than it was two months ago, and a few months from today it will be different again. ME Miami, 1100 Biscayne Blvd., 305-350-9828. Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-6722