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Inevitably it seems that rivers are one of two things to a city: either a vital, vibrant artery stitching it historically together (think the Seine through Paris, the Sumida through Tokyo, or the Chicago River through the downtown Windy City), or an industrial, black water pipeline which, decade after decade, sacrifices a thriving, walkable waterfront for a persistent no man’s land of warehouses, ports, power plants, and sewage treatment facilities (think the Delaware River in Philadelphia).

For years, the Miami River flowing through downtown Miami (yes, Miami does have a river, not just beaches) has been a classic example of the latter—a “working river” rather than a modern “waterfront”. Few people know this better, and the potential it represents from a real estate development standpoint, than Shahab Karmely, the Founder and Principal of New York-based KAR Properties, a global real estate investment and development firm that is betting its future in part on the Miami riverfront’s current renaissance.

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