Every week, Miami Agent magazine asks a real estate professional for their thoughts on some of housing’s most pressing issues. This week, writer James McClister talked with Emilio Perez, Vice President of SB Architects.
MIAMI AGENT (MA): Mixed-use developments are becoming more and more popular as people continue choosing walkability over sprawl. Do you see the future of housing moving away from single-family homes to bigger, mixed-use developments?
EMILIO PEREZ (EP): Yes and, in fact, it’s happening in many gateway cities – Miami obviously being one of them. We have a fair share of projects in the city that reflect this trend, not to mention the Design District. It doesn’t have residential options per se, but it is on the outskirts of a residential district. But that’s not to say it won’t have a residential component in the future.
Miami’s always been a tourist destination, but over the years it’s evolved into an international retail destination as well, where people from Brazil and all over will come to Miami just to go shopping. Smart developers and retail operators are becoming more adept at catering to that portion of the market.
The short answer is yes, mixed-use developments are going to be used even more in the future as younger generations seeking multifamily housing come into the market.
MA: As someone who’s seen Miami develop over the past four decades, what is the city’s next hot area? What is driving development in these areas?
EP: Wynwood is one that comes to mind. It’s a highly artistic, super invigorating, activity and entertainment-driven area with plenty of restaurants and attractions. Where South Beach is the place to go and be seen, Wynwood – and really the whole Midtown area – is more of a place to live, play and work.
MA: What are the design trends of tomorrow? Ten years from now, what do you think clients will be asking for?
EP: When you think about housing 10 years in the future, my first thought is to look 10 years in the past, back when people were clamoring for more technology and sustainability. Today, we still think that way, but those are given. For instance, you can’t go into an airport and not expect to have WiFi, whether you pay for it or not. I think 10 years from now we’ll probably be seeing more intelligent architecture, meaning less building for the sake of building, and more consideration for climate. If you have a nice body of water, you want the dwelling to open up to it, or if you have nice weather, you want your home to be open to it. That’s what’s going to bring even more people down from the north. Those things make the experience, not the types of columns or tiles you use; though those building elements will come into play eventually.