History of Sunny Isles Beach. “Florida’s Riviera”

Monday, October 28, 2013 | Sunny Isles Beach Condos, Sunny Isles Beach Real Estate | Posted by Sunny Isles Miami Beach Real Estate

Sunny Isles Beach Area Information

Sunny Isles Beach offers the best of both worlds…It’s a small town with all the traditional conveniences and friendliness, but it also has the sophistication of Miami and the sun & fun of being on the beach. Those who visit hate to leave, and those who live here wouldn’t leave for anything. Sunny Isles Beach is finally coming into its own by making itself over into a younger, more affluent community. These great changes have brought a balance between old and young, between native born and foreigner that will attract even more residents for years to come. New luxury condo developments, restaurants and shopping have brought an appealing dimension to the quality of life here.

Sunny Isles Beach Real Estate may be the best investment property available in the state of Florida. Sunny Isles is located on a barrier island in the northeast corner of Miami Dade County with very limited space. To its east is the great Atlantic Ocean and to the west is the Intracoastal Waterways of Biscayne Bay. The tiny enclave of Golden Beach is to the north and Haulover Park is to the south. The City is midway between Miami and Fort Lauderdale and offers easy access to Miami International and Ft. Lauderdale + Hollywood International Airports.

Ranked as Trip Advisors #1 Travel Destination 2008, Sunny Isles Beach is bordered by Golden Beach, Aventura and Bal Harbour which makes it a location destination being a central waterfront community. With Ocean and Intracoastal Waterway views, Sunny Isles real estate offers a great multitude of scenery. What used to be a quiet stretch of beach with small oceanfront hotels has quickly become the new “Millionaires Row” of Miami.

Sunny Isles real estate is changing dramatically with new luxury oceanfront high rises such as Porsche Design Tower, Jade Signature, Chateau Beach and Regalia quickly taking the place of the old low-rise hotels that used to line the strip. This city has seen incredible growth in the last decade and continues to set new records for Southeast Florida. New Sunny Isles condos in this premier location, as many locals will confirm, have a very bright future ahead of itself.

Sunny Isles Beach (Then & Now)

SUNNY-ISLES-1970 When the Haulover Bridge was completed in 1925, the area became accessible from Miami Beach, attracting developers who widened streams, dug canals and inlets and created islands and peninsulas for building waterfront properties on Biscayne Bay. In 1936 the Sunny Isles Pier was built and soon became a popular destination. In 1982 the half mile long pier was designated a historic site. It is still used by fishing enthusiasts and sightseers today and when visiting, you must try the catch of the day at the locals restaurant. Sunny Isles slowly developed until the 1950’s when the first single family homes were built in the Golden Shores area. During the 1950’s and 1960’s more than 30 trendy motels sprang up along Collins Avenue including Ocean Palm, the first two story motel in the United States. Tourists came from all over to vacation in themed motels of exotic design along “Motel Row.”  Over the next decade, tourists from Russia, Europe and North America, flocked to Sunny Isles hotels and motels attracted by favorable exchange rates and value for money accommodation. New mid and high rise multifamily buildings were constructed adding to the residential options in Sunny Isles real estate.

Today Sunny Isles is still home to the legendary pier from 1936 and is one of our city’s major landmarks. The City of Sunny Isles and the owner of The Newport Beach Resort have recently restored the Sunny Isles pier from prior hurricane damage. It is open to the public and a great stop to walk down and explore the coastline views! Millions of tourists have visited the pier and fished from base.

The Beatles were among noted visitors to Sunny Isles, cavorting at the Castaways Motel’s famed Wreck Bar on Collins Avenue (State Road A1A) just south of Sunny Isles Boulevard (The Castaways Motel was demolished in the 1970’s and Oceania Towers, the first luxury condominium complex in Sunny Isles, was constructed on the site in the 1990’s.) The popular oceanfront community gained many new residents both year round and seasonal as condominium communities such as Winston Towers and Arlen House were built in the 1970’s. In 1997, the citizens of this area voted to incorporate as a municipality, thus putting the city on the map as a highly desirable oceanfront community. In fact, no less than New York based real estate mogul Donald Trump took a look at the offerings of Sunny Isles Beach and pronounced himself pleased. “I have always loved the location and over the past few years it’s become the hottest place in Florida,” Donald Trump. He and a local developer, Gil Dezer, partnered to build luxury condo towers on Sunny Isles Beach known as Trump Grande including the Trump International Beach Resort (2003), Trump Palace (2006) and Trump Royale (2009).

New Sunny Isles developments have now increased the city tax base, which should be around $5+ billion at the start of the decade. New roadways are being planned and City facilities have been upgraded, with the targeting of a $4.5 million refurbishing that include new brick sidewalks and the planting of new palm trees. There are now a number of Oceanside parks offering everything from quiet relaxation to playground equipment for children and picnic areas.

Being adjacent to wealthy communities is not an issue in terms of safety. The City of Sunny Isles is known for its outstanding police force which emphasizes community policing and high visibility, boasting an average response time in less than 2 minutes. Its marine patrol boasts The Grey Pearl, a 25 foot police vessel ensuring security and safety on the Intracoastal waterways.  With the influx of younger families, often with children, the City of Sunny Isles shifted gears in another area. The new school of Sunny Isles Beach has opened in August 2008 in cooperation with Miami Dade Public Schools featuring A-Rated Kindergarten through 8th Grades. The Sunny Isles School features a 4 story classroom building, a 2 story administration building, media center, cafeteria and auditorium. This school is capable of accommodating the increasing number of school aged children living here permanently. Adding to the educational environment, there is a new 7,500 square foot library at City Hall and major City improvements including parks, events and more.

At 1,043 acres, the Oleta River State Recreation area is the state’s largest urban park. Once home to Tequesta Indians and US troops, the park now provides plenty of recreational opportunities beyond it’s gate for South Floridians. Miles of nature lines paths are perfect for mountain bikers. Canoes and kayaks can be rented and paddled through the Oleta River. Barbeque grills and covered pavilions offer ideal picnicking spots. Air conditioned cabins even encourage overnight stays. However, one unexpected element lurks deep within the park, a beach. A small stretch of sand welcomes bathers to take a quiet dip in Biscayne Bay. The Oleta River State Park is located at 3400 NE 163rd Street just off of Collins Avenue in Sunny Isles Beach. Sunny Isles Beach offers an array of other amenities for outdoor living and playing. It has nearly two and a half miles of uninterrupted clean sandy beaches and ocean access. Water sports such as fishing, boating and sailing are just the basic options. Tennis, jogging, dining and simply relaxing outdoors all provide more ways to enjoy this South Florida casual lifestyle.

With these increased leisure activities, an increasing population, increasing tax basis and a steady increase in property values comes an increase in sophistication and cultural offerings. Many of the new residents are European, Russian or South American and they bring with them entirely different cultures. More restaurants and shops have opened offering new world cuisines and the dining experiences are endless.

A fairly large number of permanent residents live here year round with 20,000 as locals giving room to nearly 1 million annual visitors to stretch out and enjoy the beaches. Sunny Isles Beach is also located just over the bridge from great shopping. Those who visit take advantage of high end shopping at Aventura Mall, just across the causeway in Aventura plus the Bal Harbour Shops, in nearby Bal Harbour. Credit the fun shopping with ease of transportation as residents have access to the free Community Shuttle buses, which pick up and drop off passengers at major points throughout Sunny Isles Beach.

Sunny Isles Beach Aerial Tour - 2011

The history of Sunny Isles Miami is still being written.. It’s a great time to come to Florida’s Riviera and become a part of it!

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