It sneaks up on you slowly as you emerge from a patch of low-slung 1970s apartment buildings toward the beach. This once-forgotten strip of Collins Avenue is called Mid-Beach, but it’s currently morphing into Miami’s hottest neighborhood, re-Christened the Faena District .
What’s most intriguing about the emerging Faena District is that it eschews the predictable script of a downtrodden neighborhood slowly waking up like a real estate Rip Van Winkle. Most areas come back once a sprinkling of galleries and restaurants gradually appear. However this town-within-a-town makeover is the vision of one man (with a lot of artistic and architectural assistance).
Argentinian hotel impresario Alan Faena and business partner Len Blavatnik bought all the luxury real estate on the stretch of Collins Ave. that runs from 32nd Street to 36th Street and reimagined it as a cultural playground where people come for a taste of old Miami glamour, with a luxury price tag.
“I am a storyteller,” Faena said. “I know how to tell a story and to bring something new to the world.”