North Miami is a city located in northeast Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States, about north of the City of Miami. The city lies on Biscayne Bay and hosts the Biscayne Bay Campus of Florida International University, and the North Miami campus of Johnson & Wales University. Originally the town of "Arch Creek", the area was incorporated as the "Town of Miami Shores", which was renamed the "Town of North Miami" in 1931. Then in 1953, the town was renamed the "City of North Miami."
The city is also home to the Oleta River State Park, which is the state's largest urban park.
In 1891, a Mr. Ilhe was the first to put down roots in the Arch Creek vicinity. He purchased 80 acres from the State of Florida at one dollar an acre in the area of today’s N.E. 116th Street and Biscayne Boulevard. The place was so remote that his nearest northern neighbor was thought to live in Ft. Lauderdale. Mr. Ihle built a temporary palmetto frond shelter. During the next 27 years he grew shallots, coontie, squashes, bananas, sugar cane, Puerto Rican pineapples, lemons, guavas, limes, rose apples, Jamaican apples, and tomatoes.
By 1905 the area surrounding the nine year old Arch Creek Railroad Depot had become the community’s hub. It was located at 125th Street and the F.E.C. tracks. That year a post office and a school were opened nearby. By 1912, eighteen homes, a church, a general store, a blacksmith shop, and two tomato packing houses were located around the railroad. The population was estimated at less than one hundred. Farming was still the principal occupation.
The Florida land boom that was underway in the 1920s spread to Arch Creek farming community. The Biscayne Canal was dug in 1924 to remove farmland from flooded conditions. But as a consequence, the soil began to lose its moisture, and the farming which had been the backbone of the economy, was no longer profitable. However, in step with the times, this drained land became available for partitioning , lot sales, and development.
The devastating September 1926 hurricane burst the real estate land speculation. The local community recovered from the damage, but lot sales came to a stop, and the northern tourists names showed up in great numbers on the delinquent tax list. Some money from the bond issue was used to build a Spanish-Mediterranean style city hall building at N.E. 8th Avenue and 125th Street in 1928. The City Hall also housed the police and fire departments. In the 1930s a new water plant and gravity tank was installed behind City Hall. The first newspaper, The Miami Shores Bulletin, was published in 1927-28 and chronicled the events of the times. The historic William Jennings Bryan school was constructed in 1928 on the same spot where the Arch Creek Elementary School had burned down the year before.
The wealthy Shoreland Company, located to the south of the Town, lobbied the 1931 Florida Legislature to officially grant their huge development the name "Village of Miami Shores". The Legislature did so. It also passed an official act abolishing "Town of Miami Shores" as a name. The next step was for the local population to choose a new name. The municipality was renamed The Town of North Miami.
During the Depression years, in 1933, Mrs. Cecille Sevier and Mrs. Ella S. Klefeker became the first two women elected to the Town Council. The 1940s census stated that 1,973 inhabitants lived in the "Town of North Miami".
Partially to meet this challenge of fast growth, the voters of North Miami in 1952 voted to adopt a new charter and a new name. The new charter, enacted as an official statute of the Florida Legislature on May 27, 1953 provided for the establishment of a full-time administrative head (City Manager form of government) to carry out the policies of the elected Mayor/Council. The new and present name officially introduced on this date - the City of North Miami.
As of the census of 2000, there are 59,880 people, 20,541 households, and 13,577 families residing in the city. The population density is 2,732.8/km² (7,080.0/mi²). There are 22,281 housing units at an average density of 1,016.9/km² (2,634.4/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 34.81% White (18.1% were Non-Hispanic White,) 54.89% African American or Black (with a large majority being of Caribbean ancestry,) 0.32% Native American, 1.92% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 3.16% from other races, and 4.85% from two or more races. 23.16% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 20,541 households out of which 37.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.0% were married couples living together, 20.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.9% were non-families. 26.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.85 and the average family size was 3.51.
In the city the population was spread out with 28.1% under the age of 18, 11.3% from 18 to 24, 31.8% from 25 to 44, 19.6% from 45 to 64, and 9.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 92.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $29,778, and the median income for a family was $31,760. Males had a median income of $25,388 versus $20,712 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,581. About 20.7% of families and 23.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 29.5% of those under age 18 and 17.2% of those age 65 or over.
As of 2000, North Miami had the second highest percentage of Haitian residents in the US, with 33% of the US populace (the first highest concentration, at 33.5% of the US population, was Golden Glades.) It had the seventy-first highest percentage of Cuban residents in the US, at 4.43% of the city's population, and the ninety-first highest percentage of Dominican residents in the US, at 1.72% of the city's population (tied with Golden Glades and East Newark, New Jersey.) It also had the sixth most Bahamians in the US, at 1.2% of all residents (tied with West Little River.) North Miami's Jamaican community had the fortieth highest percentage, at 3.3% of the population (tied with Plainfield, New Jersey.)
Biscayne Landing is a mixed use commercial/hotel/residential community being developed on the site of the Munisport Landfill Superfund Site. . The City of North Miami will retain ownership of this Brownfield site and the developers, Boca Developers, will retain a 200 year lease for the development of the project.
The master-planned development will feature approximately of commercial office and retail space, 2,800 to 5,000 residential units, a park and recreation facilities. As part of the development agreement for the site, the project’s developer has also committed to renovating the city’s library and building a school, Olympic training facility, and affordable housing on several sites located in North Miami. Completion of all elements of the project are projected by 2021.
A portion of the Biscayne Landing site includes some of the wetlands of Biscayne Bay, which will be preserved in the form of a 35 acre environmental park, containing nature hikes, jogging paths, information plaques that describe the resident wildlife and trees, benches, a canoe landing and a boat house. It will also have connecting trails to Oleta River State Park.