Last week golf enthusiasts followed the 2010 WGC-CA Championship held at the TPC Blue Monster Course at the Doral Golf Resort and Spa. NBC's coverage included views of the famous TPC Blue Monster fairways, which last year was named by Golfweek among the "Best Resort Courses." While many are familiar with this venue's reputation, however, few know the real estate stories that surround it.
The history of Doral goes back to the late 1950s, when real estate pioneer Alfred Kaskel and his wife, Doris, bought 2,400 acres of swampland in Northwest Miami for about $49,000. Their idea was to build a country club so their family and friends from New York could visit South Florida during the winter months. They named their development Doral, a combination of their names. In the early 1980s their grandson, Bill, developed Doral Estates, an enclave of exclusive homes. This was followed by Costa del Sol, a townhome development wrapped around a golf course, and a few years later, Doral Park, consisting of fourteen communities and the gorgeous Doral Park and Country Club.
Housing costs were low for what was then a "remote" suburb, far from downtown, and many communities were built. In the late 1990s Lennar built Doral Isles, creating, out of the muck, thirteen beautiful islands surrounded by lakes, and a variety of residential properties in the Mediterranean style, ranging from condominiums to single family homes, plus the spectacular Island Club.
No longer considered remote, Doral was incorporated as a city within Miami-Dade County in 2003, as its residents were intent on controlling the future, and the tax dollars, of the neighborhoods where they lived. A large proportion of Doral's land is zoned for commercial uses, mostly occupied by industrial buildings used largely by exporters, distribution and logistics companies and technology businesses. This required a strong local government that would establish and enforce zoning regulations to protect the residents' quality of life. The city now has approximately 36,000 residents, and more than 100,000 people work in Doral every day.
Doral has won many awards for its livability, its business climate and its environmentally progressive attitude. In addition to abundant places of employment, the city also boasts excellent shopping and dining opportunities, parks and schools. It's no wonder that, except in a few areas where there was heavy speculation, in general, property values have not dropped as much as in other Miami neighborhoods.