DORAL, FLA. (WSVN) - Municipal leaders and real estate developers on Monday broke ground on the second phase expansion of a massive shopping complex in a city that’s being called the fastest growing in Florida.
The undertaking aims to enhance the already bustling Shops at Downtown Doral and helps turn the city into a hot destination for residents and visitors alike.
“To see it come to fruition and to be back as mayor and see it come to fruition is obviously wonderful,” said Doral Mayor Juan Carlos Bermudez. “I think it’s a great amenity for our residents. It’s also great for our visitors and our businesspeople, many of them who work here in the City of Doral.”
The retail plaza opened in 2016 and features dozens of trendy shops and restaurants. It’s just one of many facets making up the growing city center, which also includes a business district, a top-rated charter school, luxury high-rises and government offices.
“We have a self-contained community,” said Lilyvania Mikulski of Codina Partners. “We like to be a place where you have everything you want and need all in one place.”
That convenience is among the reasons Doral has become, not just the fastest-growing city in the Sunshine State but also one of the top 10 fastest-growing in the country.
“Doral grew significantly,” said Dr. Maria Ilcheva, a researcher from Florida International University’s Metropolitan Center. “We looked at the period from 2010 to 2016, and over that time frame, it grew by about 12,000 people, so from a population of about 46,000 in 2010, it’s increased to about 58,000.”
Ilcheva analyzes information coming directly from the U.S. Census Bureau. She credits part of that drastic 26 percent population rise to the city’s location within Miami-Dade County.
“It’s between the Turnpike, the Palmetto and the Dolphin Expressway, so it’s near major roads, which makes it central and makes it easy, relatively easy for people to go to their jobs or to school or to other places,” said Ilcheva.
In addition to the city’s central location, Ilcheva said, other contributing growth factors include access to top-rated schools, low crime rates and low property tax rate.
Having access to this data helps local leaders provide for their communities for years to come. “They need to make sure that the quality of life for the residents is preserved over time,” said Ilcheva.
Doral also boasts a large international population among its new residents. Many of those moving to the city are coming from countries like Colombia and Venezuela.
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