Miami is a major city in the state of Florida, which covers 55.27 square miles, and is the seat of Miami-Dade County. This urban enclave is the largest city within the South Florida metropolitan area and the largest metropolitan area in the Southeastern United States with a population of 5.4 million. Miami and its surrounding cities make up the fifth largest urban area in the United States.
The importance of Miami as an international financial and cultural, and real estate giant has elevated Miami to the status of world city. Miami's cultural and linguistic ties to North, South, and Central America, as well as the Caribbean is well-entrenched, and this city is often times referred to as "The Gateway of the Americas." Florida's large Spanish-speaking population and strong economic ties to Latin America also make Miami and the surrounding region an important center of the Hispanic world.
Miami also has enshrined itself among TV and movie buffs, and on a large number of occasions has the city been the set of a wide array of blockbuster television and movie projects. Emmy-award winning drama shows such as CSI: Miami, Nip/Tuck and Dexter all take place in Miami.
The NBC show Good Morning, Miami was fictionally based around the workings of a Miami television station, as well as popular sitcoms The Golden Girls and "Empty Nest," were also based in outlying Miami Beach. In the 1980s however, one TV show, Miami Vice succeeded in revitalizing the city's image as the 'place to be' for the new generation.
The remake of the new Miami Vice film takes a colder, darker look at the city's underworld, although laid out in a cool and exciting manner. Video games like Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories also take place in Vice City, which is a fictional city inspired by Miami, and includes some of the area's architecture and geography.
Miami is also a mecca for Latin television and film production, owing to it's proximity to the Caribbean and Latin America. As a result, many Spanish-language programs are filmed in the many television production studios, predominantly in Hialeah and Doral. These include game and variety shows, news programs, and telenovelas, as well as daytime talk shows Cristina Saralegui and El Gordo y la Flaca. All these add to the glitzy, seductive and sweetly sinister look most folks would crave of Miami.
Throughout the past decade, Miami has emerged as one of the most vibrant real estate markets in North America. People from overseas have descended into the city and have made an unprecedented revitalization of this long neglected southern jewel. The new dynamism has carried across Biscayne Bay to Miami's worn-out downtown area, up Biscayne Boulevard, and throughout its historic east side neighborhoods.
Currently, along Miami's bay front corridor, there are around an estimated 17,000 new luxury high-rise and loft style condominiums being built or awaiting permits. That upswing has been overflowing into the adjacent Miami neighborhoods. The past decade has seen the Miami cityscape changing dramatically.
A large part of these changes have been made just over the past three years, as the city's skyline is now crowded with a mix of high rises and construction cranes. The city's real estate market has been extremely dynamic, the main Miami preconstruction condos development areas are, Downtown, Brickell, Edgewater, the Miami River as well as Coral Gables. A large number of older Miami buildings are disappearing to give way to luxury hi-rise buildings.
The city's commercial real estate market has also been very strong; it is estimated that over 4 million square feet of brand-new retail space will enter the market in the future. A flurry of real estate investments come from Latin America, the north east of the United States and also from Europe, where European investors are banking on the emerging Euro to acquire large pieces of the Miami real estate market.
Definitely, a huge chunk of prospective home buyers and developers see the sleazy, sinister and frenetic appeal of Miami as a huge clout in drawing them to this sunny, South Florida city, and a lot of that could be attributed to the sleazy appeal Hollywood has contributed to Miami's stature.