Posts Tagged ‘Miami’


Every now and then I come across a place in my travels where I can feel future coming alive, with new energy continuously brewing. That was the feeling that I had in the Wynwood section of Miami this past week.

Despite having visited Miami about a dozen times in the past few years, I had never been to Wynwood. Perhaps this is because Wynwood still has an “insiders-only” type of vibe, where the outer appearances only scratch the surface of what is truly happening.

Tony Goldman, a visionary real estate developer, was the driving force behind the revitalization of Wynwood beginnig in 2009. The neighborhood is situated in what was once a neglected warehouse district, in the backdrop of waterfront skyscrapers; the classic storyline of dozens of industrial neighborhoods around the world. Goldman brought over two decades of Miami real estate redevelopment experience to the table, having already having been a key figure in the preservation efforts of the architecturally significant buildings in Miami beach, such as the Park Central Hotel on Ocean Drive.

He combined his real estate knowledge with that of Jeffery Deitch, a prominent art dealer and early advocate of street art in New York, to create an exhibit for the newly popular Art Basel Miami beach in 2009. (Fun fact: Art Basel Miami drew over 75,000 visitors in 2014 and more than 1,000 private jets, according to Bloomberg.) The result was stunning: The Wynwood Walls.

In a 2012 interview with Art Business News, Goldman noted: “The vision behind Wynwood Walls has always been to create an international outdoor street/mural exhibition showcasing the world’s greatest artists working in the genre, …the project has truly evolved into what my friend Jeffrey Deitch calls ‘a Museum of the Streets.’”

In subsequent years Goldman recruited even more international and domestic artists who are drawn to make their mark on the buildings of Wynwood during Art Basel Miami. Today, gallery openings are booming, and both residential and commercial real estate is in high demand. Goldman Properties says it best on their website:

Today, when you are in Wynwood, you know you are in Wynwood. It is like nowhere else. It has a “sense of place.”

Wynwood is a welcoming home for anyone willing to embrace it. Even more importantly, it is especially attractive to creative entrepreneurs who subscribe to Goldman’s vision and want to push it forward with their own investments. Thus, what was once just a few colorful murals is now a self-perpetuating economic engine, rooted in a neighborhood with the arts at its core.

I’m excited to track the development of Wynwood, and I encourage you to check it out on your next trip to Miami.

2015-03-13 18.17.14 2015-03-13 18.17.12 2015-03-13 13.43.23 2015-03-13 13.40.31 2015-03-13 13.37.22 2015-03-13 13.37.14 2015-03-13 13.34.17 2015-03-13 12.27.01 2015-03-13 12.21.36 2015-03-13 12.18.28 2015-03-13 12.16.36 2015-03-13 12.13.33-1 2015-03-13 12.08.44 2015-03-13 12.06.07 2015-03-13 12.05.46


03 2015

Curb Appeal

Last week I was shopping on the historic Lincoln Road pedestrian mall in Miami Beach. It was the early afternoon and I had just begun feeling a hunger sensation as most of the walking space is filled with outdoor restaurants. This was my first time visiting the area and I had no knowledge of the local cuisine, since I opted out of using an app on my droid such as UrbanSpoon or Yelp.  Trusting my instinct to find a tasty lunch, my friends and I began scoping out the surrounding restaurants.  We had very little luck at first, only finding uninviting restaurants with more of a fancy dinner flavor.  After a couple more blocks passed by, the hunger was increasing and we were not going to settle for plan B, the golden arches of McDonald’s.  Eventually a familiar beat in the distance began catching my attention, but it was still mixed up in the clutter of several restaurants nearby.

As we walked closer the vibrant colors of the outdoor tables and stylish décor immediately pulled me into the pizza restaurant, Pizza Rustica.  The typical pizza customer can range from young kids to grandparents but in this area of Miami Beach, they had their target demographic hooked, the 18-30 crowd. Loud music projected from their compact kitchen and the pizza was plentiful.  Not to mention another perk of this pizza place was that one slice was filling enough for lunch, allowing the customer to perceive that they are getting a great deal for one slice.

In other words, Pizza Rustica on Lincolnd Road has established a very attractive curb appeal.  In a location where the majority of there customers are one-time-only as they visit Miami Beach, they understand the importance of pulling in as many customers as possible on their first impression.  This same strategy applied by Pizza Rustica on a pedestrian mall can be applied to any website. Imagine the situation as a website:

  • Lincoln road is the main thoroughfare where people are searching for a product/service. This can be Google/Yahoo/Bing or anywhere else where customers find your site advertised.
  • The stylish décor outside is the attention-getting banner advertisement, or perhaps the well optimized site that is positioned to attract potential customers (organic traffic).
  • Music being projected from inside is the alluring design elements on your landing page that entice the customer to click further into the website.
  • The generic slice of pizza being slightly modified into a filling rectangle so that Pizza Rustica is distinguished is similar to marketing or packaging your product so it appears to be innovative.
    • Thereby encouraging the customer want to share their experience with others.

Great work Pizza Rustica! When I did go onto Yelp later that day it was no surprise to see that Pizza Rustica is the most reviewed pizza place in Miami Beach and has received numerous awards for their delicious pizza. Does your site’s “curb appeal” pull in customers from the clutter of the online search funnels?


07 2010