Welcome to Miami
Sleek yachts stream through the Intracoastal toward the open seas, then take off along the coastline of modern blue- and green-glassed, futuristic skyscrapers. The skies merge with the azure Atlantic as fluffy cotton white clouds drift here and there. A gentle sea-breeze brushes your cheek but is not enough to stir the palm trees lining the roads for long stretches. The thermostat on your convertible Mustang shows a comfortable seventy-four degrees. You’re cruising Miami Beach with hundreds of others, enjoying its resort-like vibe and cosmopolitan flavor in mid-February. You take comfort in the fact that up north, where you live most of the year, they’re shoveling snow off the sidewalks.
Driving north from South Beach for some fifteen minutes, you enter what can only be called a tiny seaside village – 1/3rd of one square mile in size. You’re not concentrating. Before you know it, you’re traveling across an estuary bridge and into adjacent Sunny Isles. Bal Harbour does that to you, earning its reputation as an iconic enclave for the understated wealthy. It makes a point of staying under the radar. The village residents (only 3,500), in general, live an opulent but undemonstrative lifestyle. We urge you to take the time, stop, and look closer at this hidden “jewel.” Three finely cut facets stand out immediately.
Facet #1 – The Bal Harbour unique vibe
Bal Harbour, in three words, is pristine, tranquil, stylish. Browse the well-planned green acreage between the residences and the famous 100 Bal Harbour Shops that draw fashion influencers from all corners of the world. Every high-end status brand imaginable is there along with top-name designer boutiques like Prada and Fendi. Michelin-rated fine dining is at your fingertips next door to casual eating, offering cuisine for every taste. Galleries, wellness establishments, and exotic spas as well. European style cafes, as well as Russian, Mexican, Cuban, Kosher, and Peruvian specialty food stores, give one a clue as to the diverse Bal Harbour resident population.
What you won’t find here:
- Dance clubs that rock into the early morning
- Casual beach visitors (i.e., parking is limited and expensive)
- The South Beach throngs
- Water parks
- 70-story high-rises like in neighboring Sunny Isle (i.e., 28-story max in Bal Harbour, but even that’s rear.)
Facet #2 – Sports and outdoor living
A beautifully treed $3 million path, made of packed-sand and paving, fronts the Bal Harbour luxury real estate, hugging the coastline way past the village. Stroll, bike, or jog for miles, way beyond Bal Harbour into Surfside, then Miami North Beach, and beyond, without a car in sight. Park your yacht or motorboat in any number of docks nearby. Join a private golf club or try out the thirty or so courses in a tight circle around Bal Harbour, offered at around $45-a-round, all-inclusive, by the CanAm organization.
Facet #3 – Luxury Real Estate in Bal Harbour
One Bal Harbour, now known as Ritz Carlton Bal Harbour, ushered in the property rejuvenation of the village, creating a new aura of glamorous living. The luxurious St. Regis Bal Harbour Hotel and Residences consolidated the image and elevated it even more. Both the above developments are hotel connected, giving owners 5-star hospitality services right there in their homes.
Others soon followed, namely – Oceana Bal Harbour, Fendi Chateau, Eighty Seven Park, and Arte Surfside by Antonio Citterio. Condominium developments are the first thing visitors see, but there’s a limited selection of single-family homes as well. The architectural theme is somewhat eclectic with traditional “old Florida” residing unobtrusively alongside emerging and established modern buildings.
The least expensive residence for sale in the Bal Harbour area is $819,000, and on the other end of the spectrum, $35 million. According to Zillow, the median price of a Bal Harbour home is $1,215,319, while the median list price per square foot is currently $805. These values are about 5% off last year, indicating a real estate “cooling down.” Currently, there are forty-four homes for sale, not including twelve units in the Four Seasons Surfside project a few blocks away that range between $2.7 million to $15 million. HOA fees in multi-facility developments start at $1,200, going as high as $3500 monthly. Property taxes in Dade County are around 2% annually of assessed real estate value.
Bal Harbour is not Miami as most people visualize it, but it is one of the city’s best-kept secrets. It especially appeals to the well-heeled that insist on peace-and-quiet with close access to the action when they want it.
Bal Habour Luxury Condos
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