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“Maybe in a few years, but definitely not now” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Miami Design District

Miami Design District
3841 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami, FL 33137
305-722-7100
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Ranked #19 of 88 Attractions in Miami
Type: Neighborhoods, Landmarks
Activities: Shopping
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Owner description: The Miami Design District is a creative neighborhood and retail destination dedicated to innovative fashion, design, art, architecture and dining experiences.
Washington, DC
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Maybe in a few years, but definitely not now”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2013

The "Design District" is an isolated area of several city blocks with a bunch of banal small commercial buildings that, incredibly enough, predominately house stores of extremely expensive luxury retail brands. The one good thing I can say is that it is, at the most basic level, pedestrian-friendly: Most buildings come up to the sidewalks and are closely spaced, which is the exception to the rule in car-centric Miami. But this is NOT the Deco District of South Beach, where interesting architecture and shops provide scores of blocks of pedestrian pleasure: this is the mainland. The areas around the Design District look like...well, like most of the rest of non-super-rich Florida: endless suburban grid of small concrete block houses and strip mall businesses. Or, in the case of the impoverished neighborhood immediately to the west of the Design District, vacant lots and cracked asphalt.

A few years ago, the "Design District" had lots of furniture stores, kitchen showrooms, and the like. "Design" referred almost entirely to the items for sale: the buildings were dull. This made some sense, insofar as such users need relatively large spaces, and the location and character of the "District" surely provided it inexpensively. It was convenient to be able to walk from showroom to showroom to compare. But most of those tenants are gone nowadays, replaced by luxury goods chain stores, selling pricey handbags and shoes and the like. There are hardly any restaurants. One gathers that wealthy visitors from South and Central America keep the Design District alive, but why such people would choose to shop in this wasteland is a mystery to me.

Apparently the owner of the Design District realizes this. Currently, literally half of the District is under renovation or reconstruction, with the goal of bringing design pizzazz to the buildings themselves, and bringing more and bigger luxury brands and (I assume) pricey eateries. The usual roster of "star architects" are under employ, from what I read. I wish the developers and architects well, and I intend to come back in 3-4 years to see if the change is meaningful. But for the time being, I have little use for the Design District. I don't need or want $10,000 watches, and if I want "design," I have the wonderland of South Beach.

Visited December 2013
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Florida
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
“Doesn't live up to the hype”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2013

Style and shelter magazines have touted this "trending" area so much lately we decided to go see it. It was early Saturday afternoon before Christmas -- few stores open and even fewer shoppers.

Visited December 2013
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Miami, Florida
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“beautiful!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 24, 2013

Love the different designs and décor of Miami. Bought a book of Miami art deco and learned a lot more about it.

Visited December 2013
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Boca Raton, Florida
Top Contributor
519 reviews 519 reviews
112 attraction reviews
Reviews in 106 cities Reviews in 106 cities
236 helpful votes 236 helpful votes
“Gallery to Restaurant to Gallery”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2013

In an old, art deco section of Miami, the Design District features a string of galleries and small home furniture and design shops. There are also several good restaurants in the area. So an afternoon of window shopping, gallery gazing, and lunch can be delightful. Parking is readily available at meters on the street.

Visited March 2013
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Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Great Shops!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 12, 2013

Highly reccomend visiting this area on your trip to Miami. Wonderful choice of restaurants and shopping! Be sure to visit MC Kitchen great food!

Visited November 2013
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