Tuesday, October 30, 2012

An Inland Island: Discover Islands at Doral


The Islands at Doral is the area’s largest community situated in northwest of the city. The residential area is composed various “islands”, designed after Mediterranean and Caribbean styles of homes and laid back living. Each island has its own particular style of, all surrounded by green spaces and lake views. Residents have access to all that Doral has to offer such as the Dolphin and Miami International Mall, parks, world-class golf courses, a wide variety of restaurants, and some of the highest rated schools in the state. With direct access to the Florida Turnpike through the 74th Street exit, which was completed last year, residents enjoy an easier commute and access to the city and Miami.

Islands at Doral is comprised of the following communities: Menorca, Santorini, Madeira, Polynesia, Antilles, Galapagos, Winward, Leeward, Netherlands, Corcica and Promenade.

Homes for sale at Islands at Doral range from single family homes, condos, and townhouses in the high $100,000’s to luxury homes in the mid to high $800,000’s. Some of the most recent listings include a 4 bedroom, 3 bath, 1,901 square foot two story townhouse on 108th Place listed for $234,600. On NW 87th Street a 3 bedroom, 2 ½ bath, 1,595 square foot townhouse listed for $345,000. A 2,097 square foot single family home with 4 bedrooms and 3 baths on NW 86th Terrace listed for $530,000. A luxury single family home with 5 bedrooms, 4 baths, and 3,629 square feet listed for $799,000.

For rent at Islands at Doral offer single family homes, condos, garden villas, and townhouses for rent. The rent for these units ranges from $1,750 to $3,900 a month, which makes these perfect for young professionals, young families, or retirees. Many retired residents split their time between Florida in the winter, and the North in the summer. A 4 bedroom, 3 bath single family home on 111th Avenue with 2,288 square feet rents for $2,800 a month. In the Menorca island division a spacious single family home with 3,110 square feet, 4 bedrooms and 4 baths rents for $3,300 a month. Another rental recently made available includes a fully furnished townhouse with 4 bedrooms, 2 ½ baths, and 1,869 square feet on NW 113th court for $3,900 a month. 

All of the residents in the Islands of Doral have access to the community’s spacious clubhouse complete with tropical gardens, meeting rooms, a party deck, and outdoor kitchen facilities for residents. Most of the island communities have their own pools and recreational areas along with use of the gym, full party kitchen, a meeting center, a children’s pool, heated pool, lighted tennis and basketball courts, and walking trails. The homes and clubhouse all have beautiful views of the lakes and green areas in the community. The Islands at Doral embody the tropical feel and vibe that Miami is known for. With its location in the growing and vibrant city of Doral, it is one of the most sought after addresses in the area.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Costa del Sol: A Warm Kind of Living

Nestled in the heart of Doral is the community of Costa del Sol. Founded in 1978, Costa del Sol was one of the first gated communities in Doral. What sets apart Costa del Sol is the beautiful 100 acres of real estate, lakes, and its golf courses. Costa del Sol has golf opportunities for all levels of expertise, from kids to pros. This community is family oriented, and encourages community access to all of its amenities. The golf club has almost 80 members and they currently have 768 units, some for sale and others for rent.

Director of Costa del Sol golf course and 11 year resident of the community, Richard Macintosh, says they hope to increase to 100 members and have plans to improve the already spectacular 18 hole course. The course offers a driving range, adult classes, and children’s clinics. Two new restaurants are under construction and will be open for the public in the very near future. Latin Fusion and another informal bistro are being constructed for residents and the public to enjoy delicious cuisine and beautiful views of the community’s lakes and green areas.

Real estate in Costa del Sol has units selling for around $300,000. Rentals in Costa de Sol go for about $2,500 a month. A 3 bedroom, 3 bath condo unit on Estepona Avenue is listed for sale at $249,900. This 1,870 square foot home was built in 1976 and has been completely remodeled and renovated. All three bedrooms have an ensuite bath with the washer and dryer located on the second floor.

The community also includes a children’s play area, beautiful lake views, a safe gated community, and several planned golfing events for residents and the public to enjoy. Doral is the fastest growing city in the Miami-Dade area and is close to all the excitement of Miami, yet offers its residents a close-knit community to call home. Doral is proud of its growth and commitment to the high standard of living the city is known for. Costa del Sol embraces this community spirit and is undergoing several improvement projects to update its clubhouse and expand the challenges of its golf course. If you’re looking for world-class golf, a safe and stable community to call home, and one of the most beautiful communities in the Doral area look no further than Costa del Sol.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Part of the Community: Miami Dade College West Campus

Doral is the home of many highly rated K-12 public, charter, and private schools. The schools in Doral are rated higher than the state and national average for the quality of education and facilities available to residents of the fastest growing community in the Miami area. In 2005 another highly rated educational institution began offering classes in the Doral area. The Miami Dade College West Campus now offers degree programs and professional development programs for their students.  The courses and degree programs offered by Miami Dade College include the following:

• General Education Courses
• Bachelor of Applied Science in Public Safety Management Academic
• College Preparation: Math and English
• English for Non-Native Speakers
• Associate in Arts in Accounting and Business
• Bachelor of Applied Sciences in Supervision and Management
• Associate in Arts (Computer and Engineering Technologies)
• Associate in Science (Computer Information)
• Vocational Credit Certificate in Computer and Engineering
• Bachelor in Education (TESOL Certification)
• Associate and Bachelor Degrees in Criminal Justice
• Social Science Courses

The professional development courses include courses in childcare, computer training, dance, fitness and sports, health careers, music, and several other enriching courses for adults, children and teens.

History of Miami Dade College

Miami Dade College has eight campuses and over 166,000 students. Miami Dade College opened its doors in the 1960’s and was one of the first higher education institutions to encourage minorities and women to seek a college education. When it first opened its doors it was nicknamed “Chicken Coop College” for the buildings it had refitted for classes. During its long history the college has undergone many transformations in an attempt to meet the ever changing needs of a growing population. In 2003, the college began offering bachelor degree programs at selected campuses.  


The college is accredited by one of the most prestigious accrediting associations in the country, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) along with many others. Accreditation is important for a college. Any college can issue degrees, but only colleges which have passed strict accreditation requirements for curriculum, instructors, and student resources can be accredited.  

Doral West Campus

The Doral Campus of Miami Dade College is located near the Florida Turnpike between NW 117th Street and NW 115th Street. The campus is just minutes away from Dolphin Mall and Miami International Mall, as well as the world class golf courses Doral has to offer. Students can find several housing options in the Doral area. Apartments, condos, and townhouses are all within a short distance of the West campus in Doral. 

Priority registration began on October 15th and open registration begins on October 29th. Students may register online or call the campus at (305) 237-8888. The West campus in Doral offers Associate in Arts and Associate in Science degrees. These degrees may be used to transfer into a bachelor program at any of the Miami Dade College campuses. The West campus of Miami Dade College is just another reason Doral is a great place to call home, and another way Doral shows its commitment to the high quality of life for its residents.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Interchange Project to Improve Accessibility in the Doral Area

As the Miami and Doral area grows, traffic becomes more of a concern for residents and city officials. In an effort to help relieve congestion and keep traffic moving smoothly, the District Six sector of the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) in conjunction with the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority have put into motion the 826 - 836 Interchange Reconstruction Project as of  November 30, 2009. 

Construction limits are just north of SW 8 Street to NW 25 Street on the Palmetto Expressway and they are just east of NW 87 Avenue to NW 57 Avenue on the Dolphin Expressway. Improvements to ease congestion include the reconstruction and widening along both the SR 826 and SR 836. Included in the plans is the construction of of an interchange consisting of four levels. A complete map of the project is available at the project website. 

Perspective view along northbound S.R. 826

Both the Dolphin Expressway and Palmetto Expressway are major traffic arteries for the Miami-Dade and Doral area. Given the construction, drivers now have to deal with short term inconveniences in their travels, but once the project is completed, the long term benefits will be worth it. Some of the benefits of the SR 826-836 Interchange Reconstruction Project include:
  • New connections in all directions between SR 826 and SR 836 
  • A new direct connection between Northbound SR 826 and Westbound SR 836
  • Ramps and frontage roads for traffic along SR 826 and SR 836 so drivers will not have to use the expressways for short trips along these roads.
  • Enhanced access to and from SR 836 at Milam Dairy Road with the construction of new entrance and exit ramps, and a new connection to Milam Dairy Road through reconstruction of NW 11th St. from NW 72nd Ave. 
  • West Flager Street will receive new triple left turn lanes, and wider and resurfaced SR 826 ramps between SW/NW 76 Ave. and SW/NW 78 Place. A section of NW 12th St. beneath SR 826 will be reconstructed.
  • Traffic updates and first responder times will be enhanced with the installation of Intelligent Transportation Systems cameras. New signals, landscaping and lighting will also be installed along the project area.
  • Provisions for future construction will be accomplished by new bridges over the planned location of NW 7th St. and NW 82nd Ave.  
The interchange is used by approximately 430,000 motorists each day and while the current interchange has served the Miami-Dade and Doral area for many years, the growth and increased popularity of the area makes this project necessary. It will manage not only current traffic flow, but projected growth in the future. According to the FDOT, the project is in the fifth section of a twelve section plan to improve the 16 mile corridor along the expressways.

Perspective view along the direct connector ramp from westbound S.R. 836 to southbound S.R. 826

Not only is traffic flow a concern for the project developers and planners, but the response time for emergency services was also a major consideration. The FDOT is hoping that by implementing the proposed improvements, first responder efficiency on these highways will significantly improve. The Palmetto 826 - Dolphin 836 Interchange Project is the last phase of this 12 point improvement plan. The project is expected to be completed by Fall 2015.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ready or Not: New Red Light Cameras Installed In Doral

Red light cameras have popped up in over 10,000 locations across the country. Police departments and city officials tout them as a way to save lives, but many people feel they are a way for cities and metro areas to increase their revenues. No matter what your opinion is about red light cameras, they are now part of the reality of driving in Doral. Photoenforced.com is an open website which tracks the location of red light cameras in the U.S. submitted by users. You can visit their website and locate most of the red light cameras in the country and the fines imposed by them.

Red light cameras don’t take pictures of all drivers. They are programmed to only photograph drivers who approach an intersection above a determined speed as the light turns red. A photo of the vehicle is taken as it enters and leaves the intersection. These photos are then evaluated by officials, verified by the drivers and then citiations are issued. While police departments and city officials claim these cameras are an extra safety measure, some studies have shown that rear end collisions have risen at intersections which employ red light cameras. This is thought to be caused by drivers slamming on their brakes in order to avoid a fine catching other drivers by surprise. 

Cameras in Doral went live on April 1st and cover four of the busiest intersections on Doral Boulevard. The cameras are located at Doral Blvd. and NW 107th Ave., Doral Blvd. and NW 97th Ave., Doral Blvd. and NW 87th Ave., and Doral Blvd. and NW 79th Ave. For the first 90 days, drivers received warnings, but now they receive fines via the mail. Fines typically average $158. It is predicted these fines will bring over $100 million to the state economy, and $75 million to local governments this year. 

According to the Doral City website, officials stated in 2009 that 676 people were killed, and 113,000 drivers were injured because of accidents related to drivers running a red light. The website does not state however where the accidents occurred or if they were all within the Doral city limits. The Doral City Council held a meeting on June 11th of this year to give the public a chance to express their concerns about the cameras. Luigi Boria, Doral Councilman, wants to address the issue again since he feels while there was an increase in tickets, there may have also been an increase in accidents since the implementation of the red light cameras. Councilman Boria proposed a study about the removal of the cameras and an alternative way to fine violators of the law.

On the state level, State Senator Rene Garcia has called the recently passed red light law a way for local governments to tax citizens under the disguise of safety. Senator Garcia has introduced a bill to repeal the red light law and is facing opposition from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety which claims red light cameras have saved approximately 159 lives in 14 major cities in the past four years. 

Red light cameras have sparked heated debates across the nation, but they still remain at intersections. Doral has recently become one of the latest communities to install red light cameras. Whether these cameras reduce drivers running red lights or merely increase revenue for the city remains to be seen. Either way, be aware you may be the recipient of a fine if you run a red light at the above mentioned intersections. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

A 'slice' of heaven: The Doral Park Country Club and the Luxury Surrounding It

The Doral Park Country Club is located in the heart of one of the fastest growing and vibrant cities in southeast Florida. Doral is known for its high quality of life and the Doral Park Country Club is just one example of what makes Doral an exciting place to call home. The golf course was formerly called the Silver Course, and in 2009 was completely redesigned and renamed the Jim McLean Signature Course. Today the course offers golfers of all levels a challenging and enjoyable golfing experience. 

Novices and champion golfers have their choice of five sets of tees. It is one of three championship golf courses managed by the club which include The Blue Monster and The Great White.

Doral Park Country Club offers more than world class golfing and dining experiences. It also includes a spa, gym, tennis and racquet ball courses, and one of the most beautifully landscaped areas in Doral. 

The Doral Park Country Club has several upscale communities surrounding it. These gated communities offer residents the country club lifestyle in a safe and luxurious setting. All of these communities are near two major shopping malls, are less than 30 minutes from Miami Beach, close to major interstates and roads, and are only a few minutes away from the Miami International Airport

All of these communities offer residents use of their clubhouses, pools, and recreation areas. Most give residents their choice of single family homes, condos, townhouses, or apartment rentals. Doral House 1, Doral House 2, and Doral House 3 are surrounded by the Doral Park Country Club. Doral Chase is also included in the communities within the country club. Built in 1995, Doral Chase offers home buyers modern townhomes within its own gated community. Homebuyers have their choice of one or two bedroom townhouse condo units with prices ranging from the mid $100,000’s to the low $300,000’s. Located right next to the country club is the Casper House community. At Casper House, homebuyers and residents also have their choice of one or two bedroom condo units. Casper House has a pool, clubhouse, beautiful lake views, and is a gated community.

Home buyers looking for single family homes have their choice of communities. For example, a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath single family home in Doral Palm Estates recently sold for $500,000. This 2,624 square foot home is located in a community known for its lovely lake views and access to all Doral and Miami have to offer. Doral Woods is another community which gives residents the feeling of seclusion in a gated community built in the mid-80’s. A 4 bedroom, 2 bath single family home with a double garage listed recently for $380,000. Doral Woods is close to the Doral Park Country Club, close to highly rated schools, and gives homeowners easy access to the Miami area.

Doral Park Country Club and the surrounding communities offer residents more than just great golfing. They are located in the middle of the vibrant city of Doral, and only minutes away from Miami and beautiful Florida beaches. Doral real estate has held its value even through the recent housing downturn, and is a wise investment for anyone looking for a home located in a safe city with a stable and growing economy. Luxury living is within reach in Doral, and the Doral Park Country Club and the surrounding communities offer residents and home buyers a slice of the good life at an affordable price.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Doral Grande – Doral’s Newest Apartment Complex Slated to be Completed in January 2014

Doral is the fastest growing community in the Miami area for good reason. It has a strong economy, a commitment to a high quality of life for its residents, and is in one of the most scenic locales in the Southeast. Atlantic Pacific Development announced recently plans on tapping into the booming growth of the area. It has purchased land for a 360 unit to be built on the southeast corner of 107th Avenue and NW 74th Street called Doral Grande. The 30 acre development will have 15 three-story buildings with 24 units each. Each unit will have stainless steel appliances and community amenities. Among these include a conference room and a movie theater. Construction is planned to begin in March of 2013 and to be completed in January 2014. 

The Doral real estate market has been relatively stable, even during the housing bubble bust, but there is a trend among homeowners towards renting. Alex Lastra, VP of development at Atlantic Pacific, stated in the April 2011 edition of the Daily Business Review that there has been a drop in homeownership. Nationwide homeownership has dropped 66.5 in the first quarter of 2011. According to the US Census Bureau this is the lowest figure since 1998. Many homeowners have been hit hard by the economy, and renting their homes would seem to be a more attractive option than purchasing one in some instances. Renting may also be an economical way for couples and retirees to have a home without the worry of maintenance and property taxes.

Doral Grande will offer one bedroom units for $1,330, two bedroom units for $1,650, and three bedroom units for $1,850. Doral Grande will be located right next to two other very popular townhouse and single family developments; Doral Isles and The Reserve at Doral. There are home available for rent in Doral Isles, but they run from $1,500 to $5,000 per month. At The Reserve at Doral homes are available for rent also with rents ranging from $2,500 to $3,400 per month. 

Although the rents planned for Doral Grande are very affordable, the development will have access to all of the things which make living in Doral so great. These include top rated schools, access to several world class golf courses, easy access to the Miami/Dade area, and the many green and community areas dedicated by the City of Doral for their residents. The Atlantic Pacific Development Company hopes to tap into the growing demand for high quality and affordable housing. The company owns between 5,000 and 6,000 units, mostly in Florida. And it also manages 20,000 units nationwide. 

Life in Doral seems to be just getting better. With new developments and a healthy real estate market, Doral is a vibrant and thriving community. Since its incorporation in 2003 the City Council has not voted to raise property taxes. Its schools are among the highest rated in the state and the country, and Doral has a reputation for being a safe and secure community. Developments like Doral Grande will continue to enhance and improve the quality and availability of housing which draws new residents to the City every day. 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Carnival Cruise Lines – Largest Employer in Doral

The economy of Doral is one of the biggest drawing points for residents and visitors. Many large corporations call Doral their home and employ several thousands of people. This makes not only the economy healthy, but the real estate market as well. The Florida unemployment rate for August 2012 was 8.8% according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. In the Miami area the unemployment rate fell a full two percentage points from 2010 to 2011. This is better than the state or national averages for the same time. Corporations such as Pepsi, CBS 4, Univision, Telefutura, and many banks and hotels have central offices in the city of Doral. One of the largest employers in Doral is Carnival Cruise Lines.

Carnival Cruise Lines is part of the World’s Leading Cruise Lines which includes Princess Cruises, Cunard Lines, Holland America Line, Costa Cruises, and Seabourn. Carnival has been offering cruises to several destinations since 1974. Not only does Carnival Cruise Lines employ several people at its headquarters in Doral, but they also employ thousands of people on their ships. This makes them a major contributor to the economy of the Doral area. Carnival Cruise Lines does more than employ hundreds of residents, it also helps to keep real estate values stable and rising. The prestigious Doral Golf Resort and Spa is located right next to the Carnival Cruise Line’s office. Doral also has many other world class golf courses and resorts located near Carnival Cruise Lines. 

The real estate near Carnival is upscale and some of the best in the Doral area. The Blue Hyatt Residences (part of the Hyatt Miami at the Blue) offers residents condo units from the mid $150’s to the high $300,000’s. These spacious and luxurious condos feature golf course views and use of the amenities at the resort. Many of the units have spa jet tubs in the master suite, glass enclosed rain showers, plasma TV’s, and all are move in ready. They are available furnished and can be either bought privately or rented through the hotel.

Just blocks away from Carnival Cruise Lines is one of the largest developments in Doral. Doral Isles offers residents single family homes and condos in 13 distinctive neighborhoods. Each neighborhood is located on its own isle surrounded by beautiful lakes, and each one is designed with its own unique character. Properties list from the mid $300’s to over $1 million. This gated community has all of the amenities that residents would expect including swimming pools, tot lots, clubhouse usage, and gym access.

These are just two of the choices residents have to choose from near Carnival Cruise Lines. Doral is a city growing in popularity not only because of the beautiful location and temperate Florida weather, but because it is close to the Miami area and offers residents upscale living without the hassle and extra cost of living in a large metro area. Doral takes pride in its ability to offer its residents a high quality of life, and with the strong economy and health real estate market, it would seem Doral will continue to be able to do this for the foreseeable future. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Endless Possibilities for Rentals in Dorals

Doral has several apartments for rent. Many of them are located in high end complexes in the heart of the city. Doral is vibrant and young with the fastest growing community in the Miami area. Doral rental properties are close to Miami and have easy access to all that southeastern Florida has to offer. Renters have their choice of several styles of apartments which range from one bedroom to four or more bedrooms.

One Bedroom Rentals in Doral

Las Vistas at Doral offers completely renovated apartments along with four pools, jacuzzis, golf course access, and use of the clubhouse. A one bedroom 810 square foot apartment at Las Vistas rents for $1,250 per month.

Palm Gardens at Doral is also located close to the golf courses of Doral and a 650 square foot one bedroom apartment rents for $1,200 a month. Palm Gardens has a gym, pool, and was built in 2003.

The Greens at Doral can provide comfortable living for anyone looking for a one bedroom home. A typical one bedroom apartment in The Green is 900 square feet and rents for around $1,350. The property provides 1.5 baths and was built in 1990.

Two Bedroom Rentals in Doral

Doral Gardens offers affordable two bedroom 1,060 square foot apartments starting at $1,200. Located in front of the Pepsi-Cola Company building, Doral Gardens’ apartments have been recently renovated with new appliances and upgrades.

Enclave at Doral is another complex which offers renters luxury at an affordable price. A two bedroom 960 square foot apartment rents for $1,500 per month. Enclave at Doral is a gated community with lovely green areas and a playground for the kids.

Las Vistas at Doral also offers two bedroom apartments for rent. A two bedroom 992 square foot apartment rents for $1,400 a month. 

Three Bedroom Rentals in Doral

At Promenade Shores located in The Promenade at Doral you can find a three bedroom 1,380 square foot apartment for $1,650 a month. Promenade Shores is close to the Miami International Airport and major roads in the heart of Doral.

Las Brisas offers renters a spacious 1,260 square foot three bedroom apartment for $1,675 a month. The Traditional English townhouse style of the units with new appliances and upgrades make these apartments an attractive choice.

Saint Moritz was built in 2010 and the three bedroom apartments there have all of the latest upgrades and features you’d expect in a more expensive apartment complex. Rent for a three bedroom apartment in Saint Moritz is $1,675 per month.

Four Plus Bedroom Rentals in Doral

Leward at Islands at Doral apartments are perfect for families with school age children. A four bedroom 1,507 square foot apartment rents for $2,100 a month, and is only one block from Ronald Reagan High School.

The Windward neighborhood of Doral Isles North is part of a gated community which is close to schools and shopping malls. A four bedroom 1,901 square foot apartment rents for $2,295. Apartments have a one car garage and also have a view of the lake.

In the St. Croix neighborhood of Doral Isles a five bedroom 3,195 square foot apartment rents for $3,800 a month. Doral Isles is an upscale gated community with many amenities for residents to enjoy. 

Many people think it is smarter to own your home rather than rent. Sometimes this is true, but renting does have many advantages. When you rent an apartment you don’t have to worry about upkeep costs, you don’t pay property taxes, and you don’t have to mow the yard or keep up the property. If you figure up these costs and add a mortgage, you may find renting is a better choice. Not only may it be cheaper to rent than own, but most apartment complexes come with gyms, pools, workout centers, and clubhouses for residents. If you’re looking for a place to spend the winter or live all year, consider one of the apartments for rent in Doral. 

Copyright 2012 Doral Riches. All rights reserved. 8180 NW 36 Street Suite 321. Doral, FL. 33166. Tel (305) 799-7437. Fax (786) 888-1487 info@doralriches.com