Walk or drive west on 77th Street, traverse a bridge over the Tatum Waterway, cross through a guard-gated entrance, and you'll come upon one of North Beach's best-kept secrets: the neighborhood of Biscayne Point. It is composed of single family homes on three separate islands - Cleveland Road stretches east-to-west along the northern end and is separated via a long canal from Daytonia Road, which extends along the south side, while the small oval-shaped land mass known as Biscayne Point Circle sits on the westernmost end.
The area is unified by a horseshoe-shaped road which runs its entire length. The end result of the inventive street plan: Nearly every home enjoys water frontage, whether on the canal or on Biscayne Bay. The only exception: a few homes located on the eastern end, specifically on Cecil and Fowler streets (supposedly named for Cecil Fowler, a personal friend of Miami Beach co-founder/developer Carl Fisher) and some on North and South Biscayne Point roads.
Although many of the bay front lots on Biscayne Point are sizeable, in the drier areas lots can be smallish, such as 6,000 square feet, with houses in the 1,500 square foot range. Closer to the water, lots can average around 12,000 square feet, with homes in the 3,000 square foot range. In some rare cases, a few multiple plots have been strung together to form lots of nearly an acre and thus feature equally grand houses.
For anyone strolling down Biscayne Point's shady sidewalks, complemented by a multitude of mature trees, it is hard to believe that just about 70 years ago this lush neighborhood wasn't a neighborhood at all but a swampy mangrove waiting to be filled. Some of the earliest houses in the area date to the late 1940s. Back then developers were catering to G.I.'s returning from the Second World War and offering them homes for no or little money down. Many smartly accepted the generous offer and a great deal of those Miami Modern-style houses remain intact and are extremely well-cared for.
Attributes which lured people to Biscayne Point during the mid-century era are still the same today. The neighborhood is a short drive away from the center of everything but few, even Miami natives, know it exists. That rare sense of privacy and safety means celebrities feel comfortable living right alongside ordinary folks. Unfettered access to the bay can't be beat for water sports enthusiasts. And the expansive views are unmatched. The unique quality of life that a neighborhood such as Biscayne Point offers its residents is a powerful and ever-present reminder of why people come to South Florida and decide to stay - or why those who were born and raised here never want to leave.