- “Little Moscow” is the nickname for Sunny Isles Beach, Florida, which is flowing with Russian money.
- Previously a strip of motels, the island was revitalized in the 1990s with luxury developments.
- Many Russians snapped up properties, but they’re afraid sanctions could prevent them from buying more.
Welcome to “Little Moscow.”
Like its namesake city, it’s home to many Russian elites. Unlike it’s namesake city, it’s located on a small strip of land near Miami: Sunny Isles Beach, Florida.
“They love to be here, and they like to spend their money and enjoy their life,” Lana Bell, a real-estate agent, recently told the News Nation correspondent Brian Entin, referring to her wealthy Russian clientele.
Russian money has brought a real-estate boom to the region over the years, but now these power players are afraid they might not be able to enjoy the Miami sunshine much longer. As Entin reported, they’re worried the escalating Russia-Ukraine conflict will blacklist them from buying American real estate, although Bell said it hasn’t been a problem so far.
However, existing sanctions from past political events already slowed their buying efforts in recent years, and Biden has said the US will seize luxury apartments from Russian oligarchs with wealth parked in the country. But not all of Little Moscow’s residents are wealthy, and not all of them support the war.
Here’s a look at the rise of Little Moscow and the lives of the Russians who made it happen.