Bal HarbourOctober 19, 2011
Bal Harbour Village is a pristine community and a carefully designed haven for the very best in residential living. With luxury homes and condominiums, elite shops and beautifully manicured streets, it’s perfectly situated at the northern tip of Miami Beach and is widely recognized as the jewel in the crown of South Florida’s communities.
From the beginning, Bal Harbour Village was envisioned as a modern community that would maintain exceptionally high standards, provide superior services and foster civic pride. The vision began in 1929 when Miami Beach Heights, a Detroit-based real estate development corporation purchased the raw land. They hired a team of experts, including, one of the leading urban planning firms of the twentieth century, Harland Bartholomew & Associates. Together, they began the task of crafting a master planned community. Bal Harbour and Coral Gables are the only Miami-Dade municipalities that were built with a fully conceived master plan in place.
The advent of World War II brought plans to an abrupt halt to development, and in a patriotic gesture, the land was leased to the United States Air Corps for $1 a year. The area became a center of year-round training complete with barracks and a rifle range! When the war ended, the troops departed and development plans resumed.
Bolstered by Miami’s post war prosperity, Bal Harbour’s growth escalated with the rapid sale of residential lots, the development of community resources and the construction of hotels. In the 1950’s, Bal Harbour and Miami Beach were considered America’s Riviera, a magnet for the era’s top musicians and entertainers from around the world! At the same time, a quiet residential community was evolving with lovely homes and apartments bringing more residents each year.
With a keen vision, developer Stanley Whitman purchased sixteen acres in 1957 that were originally planned as the site for a gas station and grocery store. At the time, the once elegant and upscale Lincoln Road had declined, but Whitman had a vision for the future! "Only my mother believed in my plan," stated Whitman of his concept for creating a luxury shopping mall.
Whitman wanted the mall to be open-air, with lush topical landscaping. The Shops opened in 1965 with thirty upscale tenants. The mall was an immediate success and soon welcomed the first Neiman Marcus outside of Texas. Saks Fifth Avenue and other high-end retailers quickly followed. Bal Harbour was the first mall location for Cartier and Bulgari and the first ventures outside of New York for Louis Vuitton, Prada and Sergio Rossi.
Today, Bal Harbour Shops is still recognized as the industry leader. With its chic boutiques and restaurants, Bal Harbour Shops boasts the highest concentration of designer boutiques in the country and is #1 ranked shopping center in the United States.
From the very beginning, Bal Harbour founders carefully master-planned this model community and it has evolved into an internationally renowned and desired place to live. Founder Robert Graham more than sixty years ago said, "We have only one objective. We want to make this village, with its unusual advantages of ocean and bay and South Florida climate, a lovely place to live.
For all of your real estate needs in the Bal Harbour, please call our Bal Harbour Resident and Expert, Niliana Nassar Garcia.Niliana lives, works and specializes in Bal Harbour." We believe Bal Harbour Village is a dream come true!