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Miami Lakes is a town of 23,000 located northwest of Miami, Florida.

As recently as the mid-1960's, Miami Lakes was not an urbanized area. Its population was mostly made up of cows owned by a rancher and state senator named Ernest "Cap" Graham, who left a great deal of his land to his three sons (Bill Graham, Bob Graham, and Phillip Graham). Phillip had moved to Washington, D.C. and taken over the Washington Post (he was Katherine Graham's husband), while Bob went on to become governor of Florida and later a senator, leaving Bill with the task of managing the business.

The Graham Companies ended up developing Miami Lakes into a damnear utopian community, and it is still one of the nicest-looking parts of South Florida. It has the ultra-clean, ultra-posh look and feel of cities like Weston without the obvious forced uniformity, and the presence of office buildings and shopping streets makes it feel less suburban than it actually is. (There are even a few plots of land where cows still graze: one of them is right next to the four-story building where I work.)

The center of Miami Lakes, Main Street, is an upscale outdoor shopping arcade with a movie theater, as well as a hotel and restaurant co-owned by TGC and retired Dolphins coach Don Shula (the restaurant eventually became the flagship of one of the top steakhouse chains in the country, Shula's).

The Graham Companies' share of Miami Lakes (which is most of the town's commercial property) is valued at around $100 million. Cap Graham probably wouldn't believe it. I'm still trying to figure out how much of that $100 million is stucco.

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