SkyRise Miami, the controversial tie clip-shaped observation tower that has been in the works for roughly a decade, will no longer be built.
Developer Jeff Berkowitz canceled plans for the downtown Miami tower, expected to rise 1,000 feet next to Bayside Marketplace, according to the Next Miami.
The pandemic was the last straw for the $430 million project, which had faced lawsuits, financial challenges and more, Berkowitz told the Miami Herald.
In a statement given to the newspaper, he wrote that he had “spent very substantial sums” on the project.
“I have not, nor will I, draw upon the millions of dollars of commitments made by some of Miami’s most respected community leaders, who shared my vision and were willing to co-invest in the project,” he added.
The tower, designed by Arquitectonica, was expected to feature observation decks, an indoor controlled free-fall system, a “drop tower-style” ride featuring a 95-mile-per-hour descent, restaurants and a nightclub.
Berkowitz, who developed Dadeland Station and Aventura Commons, two South Florida shopping centers, proposed SkyRise in 2013. Lawsuits stalled the Skyrise project, including one initiated after Miami-Dade County planned to award $9 million in public subsidies. The litigation ended in 2016 when Berkowitz stopped pursuing public funding.
Other legal challenges from community activists were put to rest by a Florida Supreme Court ruling in 2015. Construction was finally expected to begin in 2019, with Plaza Construction announced as the general contractor the previous year.
Berkowitz plans to restore the site to its original condition as a parking lot.
[Miami Herald] – Katherine Kallergis