Most Active Stories
- Broward School Board Suspends Teacher Who Used Slur Against Muslim Student
- An Idea To Mitigate Rising Seas In Miami Beach: Lift The Entire City
- Which One Is Better: Miami Or Miami Beach?
- How An Ethnic Slur Spurred A Broward Father's Activism
- Stalin Stupor: Why Venezuela Keeps Getting Ranked "Most Miserable" In 2015
Mon August 25, 2014
Why SkyRise Miami Depends On Voters And Visitors' Pockets
City of Miami voters will decide Tuesday whether to let a local developer build Florida's tallest building on the waterfront behind Bayside Marketplace.
Jeff Berkowitz visualizes SkyRise Miami as the city's special landmark. A $400 million, 1,000-foot tower stuffed with observation decks, restaurants, a theater and even some thrill rides. It would create jobs, bolster the economy and polish up the Miami brand. He says this is what major cities do.
"These towers are a proven concept. They're all over the world," Berkowitz says. "They attract a lot of people. The Eiffel Tower has had over 250 million visitors since it opened."
SkyRise would be visible all over Miami and, from its top, command the view over a 40-mile horizon from Key Largo to North Broward. Mayor Tomás Regalado says he's prepared to be impressed.
"I think it's a job builder," he says. "Whether it would bring millions of visitors, I don't know."
But those millions of visitors may be necessary to SkyRise's success. Berkowitz is promising a first-year revenue of $100 million and at least 3.2 million visitors a year.
And if anything is too big to fail, it's SkyRise Miami.
"It's not like if you build a building and say 'well, gee, we had a good idea but it didn't seem to work so we'll just tear down the building and build something else,'" he says. "You can't easily tear down a 1,000-foot tower."
The SkyRise question is the third of three proposed city charter amendments on the ballot. It looks like it's about Bayside's lease with Miami, but it's really about a humongous tower that a wealthy developer says will brand the city and change it forever.