Locally known as Downtown, the area is a cultural, financial, and commercial center of South Florida, tracing its present-day history back to the 19th century. In recent years, Downtown Miami has grown and physically expanded to become the fastest-growing area in Miami, with large scale high-rise construction and rapid population increase. Greater Downtown is home to many major museums, parks, education centers, banks, company headquarters, courthouses, government offices, theaters, shops and many of the oldest buildings in the city.
As of 2009, there are approximately 71,000 year-round residents in Greater Downtown (including Downtown's Brickell, Park West, and Omni neighborhoods), with close to 200,000 populating the Downtown area during the daytime, making Downtown Miami one of the most populous downtowns in the U.S. after New York City and Chicago. With recent mass construction of high-rise residential buildings and office towers, Downtown has experienced large growth, with new shops, bars, parks, and restaurants opening up, attracting many new residents. Along with Brickell, Downtown has grown from 40,000 residents in 2000, to over 70,000 in 2009, making it one of the fastest-growing areas in Florida. It was estimated in February 2010, that about 550 new residents move to the Downtown area every month. As of 2009, over 190,000 office employees work in Downtown and Brickell.
Downtown is served by the Miami Metrorail at Historic Overtown/Lyric Theatre, Government Center, and Brickellstations, accessible from Broward and Palm Beach counties via Tri-Rail transfer station. The Metro connects to the Downtown Metromover, which encompasses 22 stations on the clockwise Inner (or Downtown) loop and counterclockwise Brickell and Omni branch loops. Government Center station is Downtown's main station and allows for transfers to all Metromover loops, Metrorail trains, and Metrobus lines at the Stephen P. Clark Government Center.
Downtown is home to many companies, corporations and organizations. Downtown has about 20,000,000 square feet (1,900,000 m2) of office space, and is the central financial and business hub of South Florida. Some private companies with headquarters in Downtown are Ackerman Senterfitt, Arquitectonica, Bilzin Sumberg, Espírito Santo Financial Group, Florida Justice Institute, Greenberg Traurig, Holland & Knight, Limehouse Software, Macy's Florida, Miami Herald, Miami Today, Shutts & Bowen, Terremark Worldwide, Vector Group, World Property Channel, and Zyscovich Architects. Sanford Group Company and Sanford Fiduciary Investor Services, Inc., and LTU International had headquarters in Downtown.
Public organizations with their main offices in Downtown include, the central offices of the Beacon Council, the Downtown Development Authority, Miami-Dade County government, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami Police Department, and Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation, as well as numerous City of Miami departments despite city hall's location in Coconut Grove.