May 16, 2023 - News

Miami's most "endangered" neighborhood: Little Santo Domingo

A mural in Allapattah says "Welcome to Little Santo Domingo."

Photo: Clara Toro/Allapattah Collaborative CDC

Little Santo Domingo in Allapattah is one of America's most "endangered" historic places, according to a new report by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Why it matters: Allapattah is one of Miami's oldest neighborhoods and its commercial corridor is experiencing rising rents, speculative real estate development and the demolition of older structures, a National Trust spokesperson tells Axios.

What they're saying: Mileyka Burgos-Flores, CEO of Allapattah Collaborative CDC, tells Axios that Little Santo Domingo is a cultural gem, a place where barbers trim famous Dominican-born baseball players and tailors create bespoke wardrobes for Caribbean reggaeton artists.

  • It's also the epitome of the American dream, Burgos-Flores says, where immigrants came in search of opportunity and built their own businesses.
  • "We believe Little Santo Domingo is one of the last places in the nation where that narrative has a chance to survive, a last frontier of immigrant entrepreneurship and hustle."

Threat level: Rising rents in Allapattah have forced residents to leave and businesses to close, both groups say.

  • "Those who've managed to stay are every day at risk of being wiped out by a rental increase or losing their storefronts to demolition," Burgos-Flores says.
  • The group's primary focus is strengthening small businesses through training, technical assistance and connecting owners with grant opportunities.

What's next: The Allapattah Collaborative recently launched the Thrive in Place Fund to help buy commercial properties in the neighborhood.

  • Burgos-Flores says the plan is to partner with the South Florida Community Land Trust to place the purchased properties in a land trust, which would allow the Collaborative to "preserve their affordability forever."

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Miami.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Miami stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Miami.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more