These neighboring islands rose from Biscayne Bay in 1922, courtesy of the Army Corps of Engineers, and are accessed by a bridge to the MacArthur Causeway. They are noted for their park-like setting, serenity and security for fine waterfront residences, many with yachts docked behind the house. Tall palms, pristine landscaping and no overhead cables (they are buried underground,) create a picture-perfect scene.
Children’s playgrounds and picnic areas make the islands family-friendly. There is a strong sense of community with residents meeting while walking their dogs, jogging and playing tennis on the islands’ courts.
Both islands have the South Beach zip code 33139 and local government services are provided by the City of Miami Beach. Shopping, dining and entertainment amenities are nearby, in Miami Beach (entered at 5th street and Alton Road) to the east and Downtown Miami to the west.
Past the guardhouse, the entrance to PALM ISLAND is graced by a grand fountain. The adjoining park is the site of the infamous Latin Quarter nightclub which put Palm Island on the map as the hottest address in American nightlife from the 1940s to 1960s.
The Latin Quarter nightclub attracted the top entertainers of the time in dazzling floor shows. Eventually Miami Beach nightlife moved to the new hotels on Collins Avenue and the Latin Quarter closed. After the building burned down, the land was turned into the Palm Island Park.
Palm Island’s fame dates back to 1928 when notorious gangster Al Capone bought a mansion, (built by brewing tycoon Clarence Busch six years earlier,) and made it the scene of extravagant, celebrity-rich parties in the midst of Prohibition. Police raids on gambling and bootlegging livened up the Palm Island Club until 1931 when Capone was finally tried and imprisoned. On his release, he returned to live on Palm Island until his death in 1947 and The Palm Island Club eventually closed. The Capone mansion, with 100 feet of private beach on Biscayne Bay, was sold in 2013 for $7.43 million.
The sought-after address for waterfront mansions is Palm Avenue on the eastern half of Palm island. On the western half, Palm Avenue becomes an interior street with slightly less luxurious homes on dry lots. Other waterfront homes line North and South Coconut Lanes. Through teardowns, there are now about 120 ? houses on Palm Island, down from the original 147. Lot sizes range from 7,000 to 30,000 square feet. . Architectural styles reflect the island’s 80-year history ranging from 1920s Mediterranean Revival to 1950s Mid-Century Modern and later Post-Modern.
HIBISCUS ISLAND is a neighboring upscale island reached by a bridge from Palm Island. Fine waterfront homes on North and South Hibiscus Drive; some condominiums and two-story townhomes, make this another desirable residential area.