In the late 1870s, the Brickell family acquired 640 acres of real estate south of the Miami River. Part of that property was developed into a stretch of road named for the family. Brickell Avenue runs from the financial district's SE 8th Street south to the many-mansioned enclave of SE 32nd Road.
The era of mansion building closed, and the neighborhood took on the decadent, dangerous reputation as a backdrop to the Miami Vice television series. Today that image is changing as a fascinating mix of high-rise office buildings, condominiums and low-rise townhouses sprout from the ground. Joining the 1960's Four Ambassadors and the 1990's Bristol and Santa Maria are the remarkable Espirito Santo and the Jade.
The district is changing under the pressure of a continued influx of new residents to the Miami area. New condo developments have flourished, including, Asia Brickell Key, Icon Brickell, 1390 Brickell Bay, Carbonell, and Skyline at Mary Brickell Village.
Developers have a vision of an urban oasis where high-rise residents mix and mingle on the tree-lined streets, where shops, coffee houses, restaurants and street-side entertainment create a sense of a cultural neighborhood.
Retail outlets and restaurants have been attracted to the area by the development of the 5.7-acre mixed-use project Mary Brickell Village. Advertised as "The Center of Everything", the village boasts a Publix, a PF Chang's China Bistro, a Starbucks as well as the local dry cleaner, bookstore and health club.