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  2/28/2016
Expensive
Housing is too high

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  12/7/2008
A place for the better educated in Florida.
I have lived in Florida, specifically, in Miami-Dade for about 18 years. Having found a glass ceiling up north due to my handicapping name (Guillermo, it could have been Fernando, Carlos, or any other Spanish name), and getting tired of the cold winters, I moved to South Florida to search for a better life. Here in Miami I found many advantages to being Hispanic. Being totally fluent in English and Spanish helped my rise to the upper middle class here in Miami. Yet, this fluency had been a hindrance up in Massachusetts and in Ohio.

Of course, the Latin influence in Dade county has advantages (to a Latin person, at least) and some disadvantages. Whenever there is a big conglomerate of immigrants, there will be many who are uneducated. Since they are uneducated and come from third world countries, they bring many third world habits. These habits include, but are not limited to, discriminating against others, such as blacks, Jews, or other ethnic groups; trashing the streets; disregarding and ignoring other people; completely lacking an understanding of democracy and of the social contract that binds all of us to cooperate and contribute to our society.

This third world influence is easily seen at the end of a crowded day at any park or beach. The garbage could devourer any one. One can often spot used diapers in parking lots. People often cut in from of lines in stores and other places. People stop their cars on the street to chat with another driver, or to make a decision while the cars behind have to wait. Sometimes, it is even possible to hear a Spanish speaking person demand that an English speaking person learn to speak Spanish. It is all summarized as a complete disregard for the welfare of others.

Add to this third world-"ism" that overall, in Florida most people have at best a poor high school education. The result is that Miami really is a cultural wasteland. Museums nearly lack permanent collections, are very small and scarce. The Florida Symphony had to close its doors for lack of funding. Schools tend to be at best mediocre. All in all, we will not get the culture seekers to spend their tourists $$$ in Miami. What we do get is the beach, the sun, night clubs, and partying. People come here to see or wear bikinis.

Coral Gables is a little oasis in this cultural wasteland. Here, about one third of the population have advanced degrees. More than half of the population have college degrees. We have one of the top universities in the south of the United States. There are very good private schools in the area. Three English speaking theater companies and some Spanish speaking theaters, as well as many art galleries, cafes, and restaurants make this a place where educated people can enjoy.

If you like baseball caps, talking about the game, partying or just participating in simple minded but fun sporty or outdoorsy activities, Miami Dade has a lot to offer. But whenever you decide to enjoy in a slightly more complex manner, come to Coral Gables and have a more cultural experience.

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  8/15/2008
People Like Working Where They Like Living.
As Coral Gables City Founder George Merrick formulated the initial elements of his dream city in the 1920's , he identified spacious park and open space locations, selected the public landscaping, established the zoning and regulatory codes, approved all public and private buildings planned, and created the social organizations necessary for a city of lasting importance. Merrick wanted his city to be not only attractive to the eye but also to the intellect, so he convinced university planners to locate the main campus of the University of Miami in Coral Gables. In 1926, Merrick wrote “the university will have far reaching influence on our whole nation and even upon the Latin countries with whom our business and intellectual destinies by wise Providence are plainly linked.”

Merrick knew the university and his City were destined to serve as International Gateways by virtue of geography and strategy, and he fostered that concept through architecture (although 14 were planned, he constructed 7 international thematic villages), cultural exchanges, foreign government presence, and international outreach.

Merrick’s legacy of a great international city, small in size but boundless in enterprise, continues today through corporate investment, university programs, and cultural exchanges. Today, the University of Miami attracts students from more than 100 countries. Through corporate enterprise, the city is home to more than 175 multinational companies that have selected Coral Gables as their gateway to either the U.S., Latin America, or the world. In addition to U.S.-based companies, the City has regional offices of international companies, from Italy, England, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, France, Canada, Spain, Bermuda, and The Netherlands. The popular “Flags on Ponce” program, a boulevard of international flags, proudly announces the more than 90 different countries that do business with Coral Gables companies. International cuisine is also a signature of Coral Gables with award-winning cuisine from around the world including Vietnam, India, Thailand, France, Italy, Spain, and the Caribbean. As for foreign government presence, Coral Gables continues to be the location of choice for official consular offices and residences. Coral Gables is proud to be the office address for more than 25 consulates and cultural or trade offices. In recognition of this international presence, the U.S. Department of State has located its Office of Foreign Missions in Coral Gables and the World Olympians Association has selected Coral Gables as one of only three worldwide offices.

One important aspect of international outreach is the Sister City program. Started almost fifty years ago, through a twinning with Cartagena, Colombia in 1957, Coral Gables currently has six Sister Cities. These cities are Cartagena, Colombia (1957); Quito, Ecuador (1975); Granada, Spain (1989); La Antigua, Guatemala (1993); Aix-en-Provence, France (1997); and the Province of Pisa, Italy (2003). Assisted by the Commission-appointed International Affairs Coordinating Council, the City recently hosted delegations from Pisa, Aix, and Cartagena. The City, in turn, has sent delegations to Aix, Pisa, and La Antigua and is currently planning a visit to Granada in October 2004. In addition to its Sister City responsibilities, the Council, which was created in 1995, also advises the City Commission on other international outreach efforts, including coordinating the visits of international dignitaries, fostering mutually beneficial relationships with the Consular Corps community, and facilitating international cultural exchanges.


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Coral Gables is home to more than 175 multinational companies which gives the city a unique global perspective and also contributes to the creation of a workforce comprised of highly educated and talented multilingual professionals and support personnel equal to that found in major international cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Brussels, Paris, Rome or Hong Kong. Over 42,000 professionals work in the downtown each business day.

Multi-lingual Workforce
Bi-lingual skills of English and Spanish are common place in the workplace followed by Portuguese and French. Other languages include Italian, German, Dutch, Hebrew, Polish, Russian, Creole, Japanese, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese. Miami-Dade and South Florida are home to over 900,000 Cuban exiles, but also to more than 500,000 South/Central American and Caribbean expatriates who came here as entrepreneurs to develop business services and distribution import/export links with their home countries.

Convenience
Quality of 'work' life is an important objective of employers. Senior executives, management and administrative employees who like their work environment are less likely to seek employment opportunities elsewhere and tend to be more efficient and productive. Coral Gables is a city which values the essence of community and convenience. The downtown is vibrant and active, both day and night, with an abundance of boutiques and retail shops with more than 100 cafes and restaurants - all with walking distance of the downtown business district.

For employees working in the city there are personal and professional services all at their doorstep, making their lunch, or before and after work hours less hectic with an opportunity to take care of personal business or activities. Convenience means less stress at work and at home.

Centralized Accessibility
Most major commercial districts are less than 20 minutes from downtown Coral Gables. Miami International Airport is just over four miles. It is under five miles to Brickell Avenue and Miami's central financial district via US 1 or Coral Way, and less than five miles to the South Miami and Dadeland business districts. It is 12 miles to Hialeah and 15 miles to Miami Lakes and Aventura and an equal distant 23 miles to Homestead to the south and Fort Lauderdale to the north.

The Doral/West Miami industrial area is under ten miles. The City is easily accessible from US 1 on the south with connections via LeJeune or Douglas Road to the north to (SR836) the Dolphin Expressway connecting to I-95. Access to the east is via Bird Road which connects to (SR826) Don Shula Expressway which connects to the Florida Turnpike and I-75.
Coral Gables has four major arteries from which to choose which gives the City an advantage of alternate routes in case of emergencies or accidents and accounts for the smooth flow of traffic even during peak hours. It is also accessible by Metrorail which is linked to the downtown by the Gables Trolley which is from the Douglas Road Metrorail station down Ponce De Leon Boulevard to Calle Ocho (Eighth Street) and Douglas Entrance.

Intellectual Capital
The University of Miami's main campus is located on over 230-acres in the City of Coral Gables. Today, the University of Miami is the largest, most comprehensive private research university in the southeastern United States with a well-earned reputation for academic excellence. Coral Gables based companies have the advantage of proximity and access to a globally enhanced concentration of intellectual capital.
The University of Miami has one of the most culturally diverse student populations in the nation. Nearly 15,000 undergraduate and graduate students from every state and more than 114 nations around the world call UM home during the academic semesters. The University has grown from its main location in the City of Coral Gables to the Medical Campus located in Downtown Miami, the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science on Virginia Key, and the South and Richmond campuses in southwest Miami-Dade county as well as off-campus facilities. With more than 10,000 full- and part-time faculty and staff, UM is the largest private employer in Miami-Dade County.

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  8/15/2008
A Cultural Briefing on Coral Gables, FL.
The City Beautiful began as a place of art, architecture and culture carved out of the lush tropics. Less than a century later, Coral Gables has matured into a cultural center that would astound even its visionary founder.

With its museums, galleries, theaters, gardens, historical sites and other attractions, the Coral Gables cultural landscape is unequaled by any city of its size in the world. Residents can choose from thousands of live and visual arts performances – Music, Dance, Theater and more. They can attend one-of-a-kind festivals and visit renowned cultural institutions.

When George Merrick founded Coral Gables, he did so with artistic flare. In the 1920s, the Miami Grand Opera performed in a drained Venetian Pool and Paul Whiteman's band entertained poolside dancers under the stars from the half-drained pool – which is an artistic and architectural marvel in its own right.

Today’s Coral Gables offers an unparalleled array of performing and visual arts.

Museums and Cultural Centers

Lowe Art Museum, 1301 Stanford Dr., phone 305-284-3535: Opened to the public in 1952, the Lowe is the first art museum in South Florida. Located on the University of Miami campus, the free-standing museum's 10,000–object collection is one of the most important in the southeast. The Lowe is known for its Renaissance and Baroque, American, Native American, pre–Columbian and Asian art. Forty-one Renaissance and Baroque paintings and sculptures are the backbone of its Western collection. The Americas Collection includes 1,470 works surveying art in the Americas during the 19th and 20th centuries. The Lowe's pre-Columbian collection was begun in 1958 but achieved international stature with the gift of 531 works by Robert M. Bischoff in 1984. The Lowe's important Asian collection features Chinese, Korean and Japanese ceramics, painting and sculpture. www.lowemuseum.org


Coral Gables Branch Library, 3443 Segovia St., phone 305-442-8706: The 28,000-square-foot library building blends contemporary design with Mediterranean influence. Honduran mahogany doors, wrought-iron Spanish chandeliers and a spacious lobby with red tile floors carry out the Spanish atmosphere. The Coral Gables Branch of the Miami-Dade Public Library System holds 120,315 books, videos and audio cassettes. The Children’s Room is the proud home of the original set of Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls donated by the wife of author Johnny Gruelle. The historic dolls were restored with funding from the Dade Community Foundation. Outside the library, lush tropical landscaping includes a butterfly garden with benches. www.mdpls.org

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, 10901 Old Cutler Rd., phone 305-667-1651: One of the world's preeminent botanic gardens, it boasts extensive collections of rare tropical plants including palms, cycads, flowering trees and vines. Established in 1938, the 83-acre garden offers a variety of programs in environmental education, conservation and horticulture. A narrated tram tour takes visitors through the lush and extensive garden. The garden was designed by renowned landscape architect William Lyman Phillips, a member of the Frederik Law Olmsted partnership, and the leading designer of South Florida parks during the 1930s. An international leader in tropical plant research, Fairchild plays an important part in preserving the biodiversity of the tropical environment. www.ftg.org

Coral Gables Merrick House, 907 Coral Way, phone 305-460-5361. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this structure stands as a tribute to the history of South Florida. Merrick House was the home of Reverend Solomon G. Merrick, his wife Althea and their six children. The Merricks’ oldest son, George, founded and developed the City of Coral Gables. The master-planned city was incorporated in 1925. An example of early Coral Gables architecture, the house exists much as it did in the 1920s and is operated as a museum. It is filled with the Merrick family’s artwork, photographs, furniture and personal treasures. www.coralgables.com, under Historical Resources Department

The Coral Gables Museum (under way). The historic municipal building at 285 Aragon Avenue, popularly known as the Old Police and Fire Station, will be transformed into a general Coral Gables museum. The complex is one of the simplest but most elegant public buildings in Coral Gables. Built in 1939 by the Works Project Administration (WPA), the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building was designed by Phineas Paist, who was vital in the development of George Merrick’s dream city and later principal architect for the City of Coral Gables. The exterior sculptures seen on the west side of the façade, along Salzedo, were executed by Theresa Keller (known professionally as Jon Keller), a noted moderne sculptor of the period. The sculptures depict firemen and the families saved through the valiant efforts of firefighters. The mission of the Museum will be to celebrate the past and present City Beautiful and offer a vision for the future. Exhibits will be either of a storyline/permanent nature or temporary and traveling. The use of the term “general” means that all disciplines will be incorporated into interpretation. Some temporary exhibits may be about subjects or collections that are not associated with the City. Interesting collections from residents or others will be displayed on a temporary basis; these will be chosen based on established criteria. In addition to permanent and temporary exhibits, the Museum program will include archival collections, educational offerings for students and adults, publications, and special events. An on-site gift shop is planned, as well as significant space for community meetings.

Theatres

Actors’ Playhouse, 280 Miracle Mile, phone 305-444-9293: Exciting professional theatre soars from the stages of the historic Miracle Theatre, a magnificently restored Art Deco gem. This leading regional performing arts company produces critically acclaimed dramatic and musical theatre. The private, nonprofit organization presents a full season of theatrical productions for adults, a children’s theatre series, extensive educational programming and a wide array of community services. The 600-seat mainstage auditorium has been beautifully restored and a portion of the large balcony area has been transformed into a separate, 300-seat facility for children’s theatre, smaller productions and use by community cultural groups. A third, 100-seat black-box performance space is designed for innovative new work, cutting-edge experimental theatre and to provide space for rehearsals, educational programs, and visual arts exhibitions. www.actorsplayhouse.org

City Theatre presents Shorts for Kids at the Coral Gables Youth Center in June 2007. For information call 305-755-9401; box ofc.305-365-5400; www.citytheatre.com

GableStage, 1200 Anastasia Ave., phone 305-445-1119: Located in the magnificent Biltmore Hotel, this company’s year-round programming presents mainstage productions that range from the classic to the contemporary. It is also involved with the educational community to promote educational theatre programs. The 150-seat theatre is host to award-winning and critically acclaimed plays. www.gablestage.org

Jerry Herman Ring Theatre, 1321 Miller Dr., phone 305-284-3355: Created in 1946, the Ring has performed at three different sites – including a circus tent and a round building used to train Allied navigators during WWII. The name for the Ring grew out of the company's first in-the-round performance which placed the audience in a "ring" around the stage. The current building was constructed in 1951. Its unusual circular design and first-of-its-kind, flexible seating arrangement drew national headlines. The Ring hosts live theatre via the University of Miami's famous theatre company and the producing arm of the Department of T

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  8/15/2008
What Makes Coral Gables, FL Great!
The City of Coral Gables, known for top-rated municipal services, fine residential areas, historic landmarks, and high quality of life, has also emerged as the Corporate Capital of the Americas, with more than 175 multinational corporations positioning Coral Gables as their Latin American headquarters.

• Comments Regarding Local Government: Coral Gables provides excellent municipal services, having achieved the highest national standards in almost every field. Less than five percent of the land area contributes 46 percent of the tax base. Coral Gables also boasts an accredited police department, a distinction shared by only 3 percent of local and state police departments in the United States, and is one of only three cities to have both a Class 1 and an accredited Fire Department. In addition, Coral Gables has been named a Tree City USA for 24 consecutive years by the National Arbor Foundation. It was also the first municipality ever to receive the National Emergency Management Award, in 1993.


• Consulates, Foreign Trade and Tourism Offices located in Coral Gables: 25

The following countries have official representation in Coral Gables: Argentina, Barbados, Belize, Colombia, Denmark, El Salvador, Finland, Honduras, Hungary, Italy, Jamaica, Panama, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Spain, Taiwan (Republic of China), Thailand, Togo, Uruguay, and Venezuela.



EDUCATION

• Attainment Level: Over 50% of Coral Gables residents 25 and older have a college degree; 25% have a graduate or professional degree.

• University of Miami: Largest private research university in the southeastern U.S.; 260-acre main campus; approximately 15,000 students; 125 undergraduate programs and 160 graduate programs. U.M.'s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science ranks among the world's top institutes for marine research and graduate training; U.M. School of Medicine is the State's oldest and largest, and no other medical school in the country has a public hospital as its primary teaching facility. U.M. is in the top 3% of colleges and universities in terms of federal commitments. A $400 million expansion program is currently under way. The University of Miami has an economic impact of more than $1 billion for the Coral Gables economy.

• Special Programs (i.e., International, High Tech, Bio-Tech): International Baccalaureate Program at Coral Gables Senior High (a 3-time Top Merit School) and also at Gulliver Preparatory School. Coral Gables Elementary School was awarded the Elementary Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Award by the US Department of Education. It has a home-based gifted program and was the recipient of the Little Red Schoolhouse Award sponsored by the Florida Elementary School Principals Association (it is on the National Register of Historic Places).

See Development Department's "Coral Gables Public and Private Schools" for full listing of schools and curricula.


TRANSPORTATION

Air

• Miami International Airport: 80 airlines serve over 150 cities throughout the world. In 2007, MIA handled over 33.7 million passengers and over 2.1 million tons of domestic and international cargo, becoming the nation's third busiest international passenger airport and the busiest international cargo airport. Downtown Coral Gables is located only 4 miles from MIA.

Ocean

• Port of Miami, 6 miles from downtown Coral Gables and recognized as the "Cruise Capital of the World," is home to 18 cruise ships and handled over 3.7 million cruise passengers and over 8.6 million tons of cargo in 2006.

Public Transportation Services

• Coral Gables Trolley – free, vintage-style trolley running weekdays as an internal circulator on Ponce de Leon Boulevard from Douglas Road Metrorail to S.W. 8th Street. (305-460-5070).

• Metro-Dade Transit Agency buses (305-770-3131, Option 6) serve the Miami district, including Coral Gables.

• Two Metrorail stations (305-770-3131, Option 6) serve Coral Gables: the Douglas Station and the University Station. Also, there is a Tri-Rail commuter train (1-800-874-7245) that runs a 67-mile track from Miami International Airport to West Palm Beach, which is connected to the Metrorail system.



Highways Serving City

• Interstate: Near I-95, SR-826 and SR-836 (1 mile to nearest interstate)
• Federal: US-1 (South Dixie Highway)
• State: Red Road (S.W. 57 Ave.), Coral Way (S.W. 24 St.) , LeJeune Road (S.W. 42 Ave.), Bird Road (S.W. 40 St.)


RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE

Coral Gables offers a wide range of housing choices including rental units, condominiums, and single-family homes in a stable residential real estate market. Over the years, homes in the City have appreciated at a rate significantly greater than many of the surrounding areas. The median house value, estimated at $760,000, is five times greater than in 1980. Strict zoning laws, a favorable property tax rate and responsive municipal services, together with beautiful residential areas, make Coral Gables a sought-after address.


FACILITIES/CULTURAL AMENITIES

• Hotels/Motels: 10 (total rooms: 1,400+)

• Shopping: Downtown street setting. $1.1 billion in downtown retail sales yearly, exclusive of gasoline and automobile

• Public Libraries: 1; Museums: 5; Private art galleries: 32

• Restaurant capital of South Florida, with more than 120 restaurants. Almost $115 million dollars was spent in food and beverage sales in 2007. Coral Gables restaurants have consistently garnered national acclaim from Gourmet, Travel & Leisure, New York Times, DIRONA, and others.


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The Coral Gables economy is influenced by both domestic trends and international shifts, particularly changes in the Latin American marketplace. The majority of the businesses in Coral Gables service local and international clientele, but unlike other parts of Florida, it is not influenced by seasonal shifts. One of the strengths of this robust economy is the diversity in both product and market geography. There is little manufacturing within the City but strong investment in commercial development and in professional services/administrative operations. The 2008 total assessed value for all commercial and residential property in Coral Gables was $13.5 billion (an increase of over $6 billion in the past ten years). Because of the strong municipal services, high quality of life, convenient access, responsible growth, and a diversified economy, property values will continue to increase, supplemented by new appropriate construction, making Coral Gables a highly desirable location for domestic and international investment.

A. Office Market Overview

Coral Gables is considered one of the premium office markets in South Florida, with over 10 million square feet of existing prime office space, ranging from state-of-the-art Class A to affordable Class C. The submarket is desirable due to proximity to Miami International Airport and downtown Miami, while also being convenient to executive housing, allowing officers to live and work in the City Beautiful. Access to client entertaining, with world class restaurants and first class hotels, rich cultural offerings and a broad range of retail establishments are also looked on as important amenities. A vintage style, hybrid electric trolley (rubber-wheeled, not fixed) connecting many of the commercial districts and Metrorail is now on line.

The office market is characterized by buildings with an average size of approximately 128,000 square feet of net leasable space. Recent office developments include the “355 Alhambra,” by the Codina Group, at 225,000 sq. ft., the Alhambra Towers by The Allen Morris Company at 175,000 sq. ft., the “4000 Ponce” Building by CMC Group at 180,000 sq. ft., the 110,000 sq. ft. office component of The Village of Merrick Park, and the Hines

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  6/18/2006
Ritzy Paradise
I have lived in the Gables for about two years now. I was initially impressed with the neatly manicured lawns, the Mediterranean-styled houses, the number of palm trees, and the neatly-named streets. However, I have grown tired of the homogenous (and sometimes ignorant) latin community that lives here, the lack of reliable, public transportation, and the EXTREME heat during the Summer. When I first arrived, I was certain that you automatically get a Mercedes just for living here. I have lived in large cities before, but never have I seen such a number of BMWs, Mercedes Benz, and other high-priced cars. You can send your kids to one of the best PRIVATE schools, but you end up paying through the nose! The cost of living here is very high, but if you can afford it you can be very, very comfortable.

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  2/26/2006
Highest Quality of Life in Coral Gables.
I love Coral Gables. In my personal opinion is one of the highest ranking cities in regards to quality of life. The Historic City of Coral Gables has not only a beautiful mix in architecture, that ranges from old hispanic to ultramodern. Many of its roads are deliniated with beautiful trees and landscaping. Downtown Coral Gables is full of energy. The diversity in businesses, gourmet restaurants and art galleries are some of the qualities that make this a Great City. In regards to Education it has great schools in all levels. The most well-known being the University of Miami. I am proud to be a member of this community.

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