What It's Like Living in Allapattah, Miami
While its neighbor to the east, Wynwood, and its neighbor to the south, Little Havana, may get more attention, Allapattah is a Miami gem in its own right. It’s filled with history, conveniently located, and—although developers have taken recent interest in the neighborhood—it’s still affordable.
And thanks to an industrial band that bisects the neighborhood and runs from Miami International Airport to Wynwood, it may be one of the most redeveloped in the next few years with new projects under construction and others in the planning stage.
For evidence of the area’s transformation, you can look no further than Danish starchitect Bjarke Ingels Group’s plans to convert the old Allapattah Produce Center into housing, retail, a trade school, and possibly an urban farm.
That’s why many are predicting that this neighborhood—which gets its name from the Seminole word for alligator—will be the next up-and-coming area as costs rise in Wynwood and development is pushed westward into the more affordable confines of Allapattah.
Allapattah, also referred to as “Little Santo Domingo,” is steeped in culture and history influenced by its early inhabitants. Allapattah is home to Miami Jackson Senior High, which has operated since 1898.
White farmers were the first to live here when it was settled over a century ago, and then Cubans moved in following the Cuban Revolution in the 1950s. Black people relocated here from Overtown when I-95 was being constructed and, later, it became a destination for Haitian refugees, along with a large number of Dominicans.
The neighborhood also has its share of historic structures. Among them is Halissee Hall, which was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. It was built by John Sewell, the city’s third mayor, who named it Halissee Hall from the Seminole word for New Moon.
Among noteworthy features of the house are its use of rough-cut, native oolitic limestone as the primary building material and its portico, which is supported by two-story, fluted Ionic columns.
Allapattah Real Estate
Despite the redevelopment efforts in recent years, Allapattah is still a very affordable area, with the median sales price of homes just below $200,000, which is far lower than most of the neighborhoods around it. It consists mainly of single-family homes, although there are some condos.
With its proximity to Jackson Memorial Hospital, a major healthcare center, and Downtown, it is a short commute for those who work in those two areas.
One of the truly unique aspects of housing in this area is the presence of condos that overlook the Miami River that have very low prices. For example, the median sales price of condos at Serenity on the River is $160,000. This is far lower than the prices you’d find with other waterfront homes.
Things to Do
The neighborhood has a number of parks that provide a variety of recreational opportunities for people of all ages. Moore Park features basketball courts and a football field and offers summer camp and other youth programming. Dogs are permitted on leashes.
Juan Pablo Duarte Park features a baseball field, tennis courts, and a water splash park and offers youth programs, such as summer and winter camps and youth sports teams.
If contemporary art is your interest, you can visit the Rubell Museum, which recently located to the neighborhood from its previous location in Wynwood. Its inaugural exhibit features over 300 works by 100 artists, hailing from the East Village in New York City to Beijing, Los Angeles to Leipzig, and Sao Paulo to Tokyo.
You’ll find music, dancing, and more at Club Tipico Dominicano, where patrons have been known to dance to Latin music into the wee hours. It was started in the late 1980s as a social club for newly arrived Dominicans fleeing economic hardship on the island of Hispaniola. Today, it is known as a place to get some of the most authentic Dominican food in Miami.
Where to Eat
The area is best known for the Allapattah Market, a 10,000-square-foot open-air market where craftsmen and artists can sell their work. It also has 20,000 square feet of bars, restaurants, and entertainment, which makes it a great destination for all ages. But there are plenty of other dining and recreation options.
Along NW 17th Avenue, you’ll find Dominican cafeterias, shops, botanicas, and bakeries, and throughout the neighborhood you’ll find Mexican, Italian, and Cuban establishments. For fans of fast food (and history), you can eat at the Burger King on 27th Avenue at 36th Street—the first Burger King to open in the United States.
Like most areas of Miami, having a car is the best way to get around. However, Allapattah does have some public transportation options. For example, it has a Metrorail station 3501 NW 12 Avenue with parking spaces (you must pay for parking).
Using the Metrorail, you can get Downtown and to the airport, along with various locations north and south of the neighborhood. It is also serviced by several Metrobus lines, including 12, 21, 36/36A/36B, 110 Route J, and 246 Night Owl.