Bal Harbour, Florida, is a chic little village in Miami-Dade County. With a population of 3,305 as of the 2000 census, Bal Harbour is a cozy place to call home. Its total area is 0.6 square miles, and 0.3 of those are water.
Bal Harbour was scheduled to begin development in the 1930s and 1940s, but building plans were delayed by the onset of World War II. Bal Harbour has an interesting history – the landowner rented his large tracts of land to the government for $1 per year. The government used it as training grounds and as a camp for prisoners of war. Today, Bal Harbour’s boutique shops are located where the prison camp once was.
The city required some design and planning, as swampland had to be filled so it could hold houses. Walls were built to protect against the ocean, and planners built a yacht basin. The name itself has an unusual origin – “Bay Harbour” was the initial choice, but it was pointed out that the village was actually on the ocean. “B” from “bay” was added to “al” from Atlantic, and the name “bal” was born.
If you like to shop, you might want to move to, or at least visit, Bal Harbour. In terms of revenue per square foot, the Bal Harbour shops location is one of the most productive in the entirety of the world. Retailers include Tiffany’s, Gucci, Saks Fifth Avenue, Chanel, and more.
If you want to live here, though, be aware that there’s an application process of sorts. Homeowners associations rigorously examine prospective residents before they are allowed to move in.
Bal Harbour is home to the Unscripted project, a set of commissions designed to bring out and showcase the artistic talents of South Florida residents. Life here is life to the fullest.