During my brief stint in Miami, I got to spend a day in Miami’s Design District, an area that has been pioneered by Craig Robins who is the Chief Executive Officer and President of Dacra, a global real estate development company that is known for its cultivation of creative communities, integration of art and design, and overall value creation, of which the Design District is a prime example.
Robins, who I was able to chat with briefly at an opening reception for the Limited Edition Experiences at the Dacra headquarters, is a brilliant 50-something visionary and avid art collector who began, through Dacra, acquiring properties in the Miami Design District in the 1990’s when the space was valued at close to nothing. He has managed to transform the area – through a series of building restoration efforts, new construction, integration of public art, tenant cultivation, and the development of relevant cultural programming (including Art Basel’s younger sibling, Design Miami), into a shopper’s paradise.
Marni, Tomas Maier, En Avance, Y-3, Christian Louboutin, Genius Jones, I on the District, Brownes & Co., and Sebastian James are just some of the retailers now located in the burgeoning area along with countless art galleries and studios, design stores, and restaurants, including the star-magnet Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink.
The Dacra offices themselves are a sight to be seen, with a rotating roster of art and furniture pieces from Robins’ personal collection prominently on display throughout. I would highly recommend stopping by the area for anyone in Miami – especially now with Art Basel going on, there is a ton of fashion-related programming in the works in the area.