Picture this: You’re going through a rough patch, and you find yourself in federal prison awaiting trial. Even better, you’re in a federal prison in Florida of all places. Seems like a particularly cruel and unusual punishment, but alright. Then, what’s this? Someone builds luxury condos right next door and suddenly your neighbors are a bunch of spoiled rich people? Talk about killing the neighborhood.
This is the reality for people incarcerated at the Federal Detention Center in downtown Miami, which towers over Downtown 5th, which offers luxury apartment rentals that boast breathtaking views and an enviable location. The building, opened in 2021, is 52 storeys tall and contains more than 1000 units.
Meanwhile, the Federal Detention Center opened across the street in 1995, and holds around 1,300 inmates. Two former inmates of the center include participants in the January 6th Capitol Attack, Simone Gold and Paul Allard Hodgkins.
@al_saadiq_banks_author Tenants say they are robbed of their relaxation #birdseyeview #miami #prisontok #prisontiktok #federaldetentioncenter ♬ original sound - AL-Saadiq Banks
Despite presumably knowing that they would be moving next to a prison, residents of Downtown 5th aren’t happy about the noise; namely the fact that inmates have a direct view of the complex’s pool from their windows, allowing them to yell and catcall at residents attempting to use the area to sunbathe.
One resident, who pays $2,700 a month for his two-bedroom unit, told Miami’s Local10, “I don’t use the pool that much here because it doesn’t get sun very much, but it does get sun during the time that they’re in there.”
The resident, Ryan Rea, who recorded the now viral footage of the inmates, continued, “You definitely get what you pay for,” adding that he moved to Miami “at the peak of when everyone was moving to Miami and there was very little availability.”
Many commenters felt that the situation was dystopian, with one asking if they as a luxury condo resident were the “first line of defense” against the prisoners, the majority of whom are pretrial detainees. (What did you think we meant by “eat the rich,” sweetheart?) But others felt that living there would be a great boost for their self-esteem, with one woman writing, “Moving there might raise my self-esteem,” and another adding, “My toxic trait is I’d go out there anytime I felt bad about myself.”
A third woman, clearly an expert at making the most of a weird situation, wrote, “They gon help me figure out which outfit I’m wearing to the club .”
Collaboration and teamwork — we love to see it.