There are advertisements in Russian on the windows of a real estate office and in a restaurant Russian is the main language. “Are you looking for Russians? Look over there, over there, over there,” the servant points around. “You’ve come to the right place.”
Like the city that gave the district its nickname, we welcome ‘Little Moscow’ and the Russian elite wants to gather here. Unlike the Russian capital, ‘Little Moscow’ has tall, luxury tower blocks on a narrow beach in sunny Miami, Florida.
“On the right there, the Force Tower is being built, where you can take your car in the elevator so you can park it next to your apartment.” Grill Gokarev, a real estate agent, magnifies palm trees between some of the most expensive real estate areas in the United States. He could not confirm whether 11 apartments were for sale by Russian owners.
Grill immigrated to the United States from Russia 23 years ago as a 14-year-old boy. He is now a real estate agent in the top category known as ‘Little Moscow’ on the Sunny Islands beach. His descent helps to bring many Russian customers.
“When the Russians started making a lot of money in the late ’90s, they wondered where we could invest our money better and safer in Miami.”
As of 2014, Gokarev estimates that 30-40% of luxury apartments are owned by wealthy Russians. After the annexation of Crimea and subsequent sanctions, many Russians did not return. “With the closure of the US embassy in Russia, they can no longer renew visas valid for only 3 years. For that they have to go through Poland, which is now completely questionable.”
The number of Russian customers has been declining for many years and, according to the latest figures, 9% more real estate is on the market on the Sunny Islands coast after the invasion of Ukraine. Real estate agents are seeing increased activity in the home market.
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