High-Rise vs. Low-Rise Living: Which is Right for You in Brickell?

High-Rise vs. Low-Rise Living: Which is Right for You in Brickell?

Looking out at Miami's alluring Brickell neighborhood, the vertical landscape is mesmerizing. Its forest of stunning glass- and steel-clad towers defines the area just south of downtown and the Miami River as a hub of luxury, culture, and financial might.

But amongst Brickell's majestic residential high-rises, there's an abundant offering of mid- and low-rise buildings that offer their own brand of opulent, urban luxury.

With so many outstanding addresses available, it begs the question, “Which lifestyle best suits a luxury home buyer?” It's not an easy question to answer, with many variables coming into play, from individual preferences to long-term investment considerations. It can prove especially difficult for those attracted to the multi-leveled lifestyles that Brickell housing options can offer.

Before buying a home in the heart of Miami's most sought-after neighborhood, it's wise to consider the pros and cons of high-rise versus low-rise living and which is right for you in Brickell.

Defining Brickell's urban landscape

For many years, the “Manhattan of the South” was a thriving corporate hub of office towers just south of downtown Miami and east of Little Havana.

Today, however, Brickell's residential towers far outnumber the financial buildings. And though the area retains its status as one of the nation's most important business and diplomatic centers, it's now among the most sought-after high-density neighborhoods for those seeking a true live-work-play lifestyle.

But where one lives can take the form of one of three very distinct Brickell housing options, as defined below.


Although definitions vary slightly based on local building codes and precise construction heights, low-rises are often classified as any multi-unit building with four or fewer floors. Low-rise buildings are typically more convenient than their taller counterparts, with a more intimate and traditional residential lifestyle.

In some urban settings, such as those in Manhattan, for instance, the street-level location will place you closest to the city's bustling atmosphere. Brickell's low-rise options offer a more peaceful environment, as most of the district's low-rise homes are half a mile away along Brickell Avenue south of SE 15th Road.


Ranging from between five and 12 floors, mid-rises represent a middle ground in most urban and suburban areas where buildings top out from between 20 and 25 floors. In high-density urban districts like Brickell, mid-rise properties are akin to ultra-luxe versions of low-rise buildings — promising a communal, multi-purpose lifestyle with more amenities, including outdoor rooftop spaces and easy access to high-end first-floor shopping, dining, and entertainment.

Brickell's mid-rise communities are scattered across the neighborhood, both in the district's core and to the south along Brickell Avenue's Millionaire's Row. Many of the area's high-rise buildings will also feature a mid-rise element at the base of their respective towers.


Prevalent across Brickell and Brickell Key, high-rises represent the pinnacle of urban luxury along Miami's Biscayne Bay. Anything above 12 floors earns high-rise status, but the majority of Brickell’s skyscrapers far exceed that modest number.

Brickell high-rises are characterized by stunning panoramic views, full- or multi-floor amenity areas, and their mixed-use design featuring condos, hotels, offices, restaurants, and retail. As noted above, those who don't necessarily want a home in the sky can opt for a mid-rise home while still taking advantage of the high-rise amenities and lifestyle.

Which level of luxury is right for you?

Which Brickell housing option is right for you? Read on below for key points and features of each lifestyle in Brickell to help you distinguish which high-end home style is the perfect fit.

Brickell's low-rise lifestyle

Low-rise living is limited in Brickell, with almost every low-rise option situated south of the primary financial district on Brickell Avenue. The major selling points include:

  • Privacy: Brickell's low-rise buildings offer a level of peacefulness that some find missing in the financial center's towering counterparts. With fewer units, residents enjoy a greater sense of privacy, solitude, and an experience that more closely mirrors traditional single-family residential living.
  • Accessibility: Navigating a low-rise is inherently more straightforward. There's no need to ascend 40 floors or traverse a sprawling lobby to reach your front door. Brickell's luxury low-rises are in a far less dense area of the neighborhood as well.
  • Outdoor space: Unofficially, you can split Brickell into three distinct areas: the financial center, Brickell Key, and the Millionaire's Row residential area. All three are adjacent to the Biscayne Bay waterfront, but only the latter residential neighborhood features abundant green space and foliage and direct access to Alice Wainwright Park, Simpson Park, and the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.

Brickell's mid-rise living

While you may not touch the clouds as you would in a high-rise, Brickell's mid-rise buildings offer an elevated experience, both intimate and connected to the streetscape. Additional features include:

  • Sense of community: Mid-rise buildings often foster a stronger sense of community than high-rises but with more anonymity than low-rises. The scale of the building allows for social engagement without overwhelming residents with sheer numbers.
  • Accessibility and amenities: Many mid-rise buildings offer a well-curated selection of amenities, although perhaps not as extensive as high-rises. While you may "sacrifice" in extras, you gain quicker, easier access to your home and the building’s features. Brickell mid-rises that serve as a base for taller towers offer the best of both worlds.
  • Design nuances: Brickell is a center for high design, and the architectural styles of mid-rise buildings can offer a blend of the traditional and contemporary, providing a rich palate of options for those who want character without sacrificing modern luxuries. They often incorporate elements that appeal to a wide range of aesthetic tastes.
  • Investment perspective: From an investment standpoint, mid-rise options can be very appealing. They offer a balanced package of features and are attractive to a broad segment of the market, which could make reselling or leasing easier down the line.

Brickell's high-rise homesteads

In addition to its bespoke luxury accommodations, Brickell high-rises include the following:

  • Panoramic views: For those desiring sweeping vistas of Miami's glittering skyline, Biscayne Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean, high-rise living offers an unparalleled experience. Brickell's towering structures are not merely buildings but vantage points — the urban equivalent of mountain peaks offering breathtaking, million-dollar views.
  • Amenities: Brickell's high-rise buildings often come stacked with world-class amenities. Think rooftop pools, state-of-the-art fitness centers, private cinemas, multi-level resident-only social areas, and concierge services that redefine luxury. Many buildings feature high-end dining and retail spaces, cutting the commute to your favorite restaurant, coffee shop, or boutique down to an elevator ride.
  • Community and networking: A high-rise in Brickell often hosts a mix of international business magnates, celebrities, and local elite, offering unprecedented networking opportunities. Residents don't just share an address; they become part of a prestigious community.
  • Choice: Above all else, Brickell provides potential buyers with a wealth of high-rise home choices. Whatever your living needs may be — from fully furnished turnkey condos to ultra-private hideaways with 5-star hotel concierge services — you'll find exactly what you want in Brickell's ultra-luxe high-rise homes.

Additional considerations

When weighing your Brickell housing options, it's worth keeping a few more things in mind during your home search.

  • Investment value: High-rises often promise higher liquidity, thanks to their broad appeal. However, low-rises can offer unique features that make them a rare commodity and potentially lucrative investment.
  • Lifestyle choices: Consider your lifestyle when making this decision. Do you revel in a bustling community or prefer an enclave of serenity? Your daily life will influence which option feels like a "home."
  • Family needs: Those with young families might opt for low-rise residences for outdoor play spaces and fewer neighbors. Conversely, high-rises often provide a communal living experience that can be equally enriching for children, thanks to amenities like playrooms and resident events.

Ready to learn more about Brickell's housing options?

If you're hoping to explore the luxury Miami real estate landscape with an expert by your side, reach out to trusted agent David Freed. With numerous awards and accolades speaking to his exceptional reputation, David is ready to get results every time. Reach out today to begin.

*Header photo courtesy of David Freed


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