Belle Isle

Belle Isle Highlights:
  • Population: 1,755 (2010)
  • Easternmost of the Venetian Islands
  • Winner of Miami Beach Times’ “Best Hidden Neighborhood” (2011)
  • Upscale luxury meets small town charm in this diverse real estate market
  • Short drive over the Venetian Bridges to the heart of Miami Beach
Located the furthest east of all the Venetian Islands, a series of man-made islands in Miami Beach’s Biscayne Bay, Belle Isle began as a haven for mangroves. When it became clear that this beautiful little island was perfectly situated for human inhabitants, fruit farmer and business tycoon John S. Collins – namesake of the Collins Bridge and Collins Canal – partnered with local businessman Carl G. Fisher to formulate a plan for the displaced Biscayne Bay sand excavated in the building of the bridge. The sand was used to widen the footprint of the island. Plots were delineated, and the rest is history.Through the years, Belle Isle has been host to the Biscayne Bay Speedboat Regattas, a University of Miami marine lab, the All Souls Episcopal Church, the J.C. Penney estate, and a number of others. Now, the island is home to a variety of properties, from quaint beachfront apartments to luxury condos. Check out the newly updated island-center park, the diverse array of restaurants, or sit back and take in the view.
Did You Know?
  • Belle Isle is the only one of the Venetian Islands that is not 100% man-made. The island already existed prior to the development of the other Venetians – albeit in a much smaller footprint – and was home to little more than a thick population of mangroves.
  • The original bridge spanning Biscayne Bay between Miami Beach and Belle Isle was a long wooden bridge built by Collins and Fisher.
  • Belle Isle was originally named “Bull Isle,” though locals aren’t positive where the inspiration for that name originated.
  • The J.C. Penney estate was located on 8 Belle Isle and occupied a large portion of the southeast area of the island. After owning the estate for some time, Penney convinced President Herbert Hoover to spend his presidential vacation there in 1939, drawing news coverage, intrigue, and sightseers to the estate.
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