Although Spanish has been spoken in Key Biscayne for many years by immigrants and visitors from various Spanish-speaking countries, today, the majority of the people speaking Spanish in Key Biscayne are from Argentina. Many Argentines say that Key Biscayne has recently felt like a suburb of Buenos Aires. There has been a new wave of Argentine immigrants, most with money and well-paying jobs sweeping through South Florida. Many of the new arrivals are buying or renting real estate properties in Key Biscayne according to luxury Miami real estate brokers and village officials.
Key Biscayne Mayor Franklin Caplan believes the increase in Argentines in the village is due in large part to the luxury Miami condominium project now under construction on the site of the old Sonesta Beach hotel. There has been a recent article in the Buenos Aires newspaper La Nación noting the renewed interest in luxury real estate in Miami by Argentines, referring to Miami as a magnet for Argentines. These new Argentine expatriates are younger, more educated and have more money than the arrivals in previous migrations. They are drawn to Miami for the beach, the tropical weather, the shopping malls, and the growing art and cultural scene. The ocean and malls are mainstays but it seems that every year something interesting happens like Art Basel, the world’s biggest show of contemporary art, or the Ultra Music Festival, the most important in electronic music.
What has kick started the new Argentine immigration? It could be because of a number of different reasons. Some Argentine diplomats in Miami refer to the result of effective property offers by real estate brokers along with the availability of investor visa programs under which foreign nationals can invest $500,000 and get a conditional green card. You can be safe here, buy luxury Miami real estate and not have to worry about the safety of your children. Another reason that Argentine immigrants are resettling in South Florida because of increasing crime in major cities in Argentina, not to mention the growing government restrictions on dollar transactions and withdrawals. Violent crime has increased in certain Buenos Aires neighborhoods and “express kidnappings” are becoming common in some urban areas. During “express kidnappings", victims are taking at gunpoint and forced to withdraw money from ATMs. That is the biggest reason for many Argentines interviewed in Key Biscayne. They cite growing insecurity in Buenos Aires and other cities as one of the chief reasons for moving here. They chose luxury real estate in Key Biscayne because they considered it safer than the luxury real estate on the mainland.
Key Biscayne reminds many Argentines of the luxury gated communities in Buenos Aires where security is paramount. It is insecurity along with political and economic concerns that are motivating the new exodus. It is only in the last 18 months that many Argentinians have been coming here to purchase luxury real estate. Life in Argentina is very complex. Freedom of expression is being limited and the freedom to get dollars is also being restricted. It used to feel special to be an Argentinian in Miami, but now you are just considered one of many. Now you can hear the Argentine accent all over.
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Andres Leiser is a local contributor for Constec Realty's Miami luxury real estate website. Andres Leiser has been involved in Miami real estate for over a decade. For more information please visit www.constecrealty.com
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