Proposed Chinatown Coming to North Miami

News reports featuring the first and second annual Chinese New Year parade in South Florida. Videos courtesy of the Wolfson Archives. 


A Chinatown in Miami, why not? It’s no secret that cultural neighborhoods in major cities can be popular tourist destinations. Neighborhoods like Little Havana and Calle Ocho have been experiencing an influx of vacationers. Recently, the City of North Miami proposed to turn a 16-block area of commercially zoned land along NW 7th Ave into its very own Chinatown.

Asian real estate developers used to flock to major metropolitan cities like New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Vancouver. But, as prices and competition in those markets have risen, foreign investors are now purchasing low-cost land in the Magic City.

Chinese investors are one of the major reasons why this new Chinatown will be created. Past efforts were made to create a Chinatown in areas such as Homestead and on Miami’s Biscayne Boulevard, but the plans never took off. Chinese residents in North Miami Beach have already established a growing community with a number of businesses 30 blocks away from the proposed Chinatown. There are also growing concerns that this new neighborhood would be built in a area already populated by African-Americans and Haitians. Current residents are concerned about being displaced.

A significant increase in Chinese tourists vacationing in South Florida is also contributing to the demand for a Chinatown. A dozen U.S. senators and the travel industry are pressing American officials to find ways to facilitate travel and investments with China. Proposals include a five-year visa for Chinese visitors that would permit multiple visits to the U.S.

The Miami travel and tourism industry is constantly striving to become even more of a global tourism destination than it already is. Now, thanks in part to marketing campaigns attracting Asian tourists, thousands are coming to the state to enjoy the warm weather and its unique cultural neighborhoods. Perhaps North Miami’s proposed Chinatown may one day become a cultural tourist destination.

-Ursa Gil

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