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Four Square Blocks: Miami

Four Square Blocks: Miami

Julie Lasky

Craig Robins, a 50-year-old developer, is overseeing the latest phase of his plan to transform a 21-acre patch north of downtown Miami into a Shangri-La of culture and commerce. In the mid-1990s, he began buying, restoring and adding buildings in the neighborhood, a moribund wholesale furniture district that had lost business to a suburban design center. He persuaded high-end design companies like Waterworks and Holly Hunt to move in, commissioned public artworks, repaired sidewalks and planted trees. In 2005, he sealed the identity of what he called the Design District with DesignMiami, an annual fair that ran concurrently with Art Basel Miami Beach. (DesignMiami later moved to Miami Beach, to be close to the main event.)

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