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Thread: Miami

  1. #166
    I admit I have a problem
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    North Koreatown

    Default "Miami's New Skyline"

    For now (5/27, early morning), the Herald still has the great interactive skyline graphic on its Web site ... check it out while it's still there! The graphic links to renderings of 90 developments, many of them truly impressive.
    Banner linking to the graphic is right at the top.

  2. #167
    The Dude Abides
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    NYC - Financial District


    Incredible. It's as if they're building an entire city from the ground up. Eerily reminiscent of what's going on in Dubai, except they're not setting any height records (yet).

  3. #168
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004

    Default Miami

    I am origially from Miami so I just wanted to mention that when I saw this thread and read it. I remember we had a boat too in Key Largo as a kid though we were not rich. Good piece.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #169
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Manhattan - UWS

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by 212
    For now (5/27, early morning), the Herald still has the great interactive skyline graphic on its Web site ... check it out while it's still there! The graphic links to renderings of 90 developments, many of them truly impressive.
    Banner linking to the graphic is right at the top.

    Yeah that skyline graphic is totally amazing. Is a must of everyone to see this for sure. Simply incredible that this city is growing so much.

  5. #170

    Default What kind of city is Miami becoming?

    Miami Herald architecture critic Beth Dunlop has some thoughts in today's paper on the nature of Miami's building explosion, and she sees some negatives.

    Something she doesn't mention, but that was noted by an urban planner who was quoted in a recent news article, is the fact that of the 100 or so downtown highrises planned for completion in the next few years, not one is an office tower (although a few are "mixed-use")....the planner stated that if you turn your downtown into an almost entirely residential area, you really no longer have a downtown.

    Here's the link to Dunlop's article:

  6. #171

    Default City in the Sky

    ^ interesting Alex_F

    Posted on Sun, May. 29, 2005

    Architecture commentary: City in the Sky


    Are we turning our cities into theme parks for the very rich? This might indeed be the architectural question of the decade for most of America's ''hot'' cities, but it is a particularly trenchant issue right now for Miami.

    I know a schoolteacher -- beautiful, young, talented and engaged -- who would love to take part in the transformation of downtown. But on two teachers' salaries, there is little she and her fiancÚ can afford, and nothing desirable. They've been looking for a year.

    This is a small anecdotal truth that indicates a much broader one: We are pricing out the people who really make this place what it is and ought to be: diverse; young and old; artists and authors and teachers and storekeepers, policemen and social workers and public servants; not just those who manage their portfolios while jetting from St. Tropez to Miami to Las Palmas.

    A real city is filled with people of all incomes and interests, who spend their money in local stores and restaurants run by other local people, and their time out walking on the streets and playing in public parks, sitting in cafes, browsing and window-shopping, strolling and stopping -- after work, after school, after church or temple, before a movie, a play, a concert. That, more than mere commerce, is the time-tested engine that drives urbanism.

    The future Miami skyline could include nearly 100 planned or already-built skyscrapers, most of them condo projects, a once-in-a-city's-lifetime phenomenon that was graphically depicted in The Herald earlier this month. As each newer, taller, bigger, ever-more-fashionable building is announced, I wonder about what we're doing to Miami, why we seem so intent on building a city from the top down rather than the bottom up. I wonder why the city's leaders haven't taken hold of the process to ensure that all-important mix that starts with architecture but ends with people.

    We're getting the architecture, but are we leaving the people -- and that all-important urbanism that makes the world's most admired and beloved cities so remarkable to inhabit or even visit -- behind?

    I worry that we are building a ''skybox city,'' the urban equivalent of those precious perches at stadiums and arenas with services at the touch of a button. Those skyboxes are great for a privileged few, and that's exactly the case with the Miami we are building today. Instead of skyboxes, we are getting skyscrapers -- some of them architecturally distinguished and others architecturally negligible, at best -- but the effect is much the same. Fans, not skyboxes, make sports facilities flourish. Residents, not skyscrapers alone, make a city.

    This is not just a matter of economics, but of city-building, which is much different from construction -- of establishing a vital, vibrant, energetic new way of life in a newly populous urban center. Without that, we'll have a chimerical city that seems to exist as a dazzling skyline only -- like Oz.

    The dimensions first: As of April, there were 261 development projects in motion (this is to say somewhere between preliminary application and recent completion) in the city of Miami. For Miami this means a mind-boggling 69,039 residential units, which is basically the equivalent of building a medium-sized city. Not all of this is what might be considered ''prime'' residential development, along the bay or in or near downtown, but a significant percentage is.

    In terms of architecture, the outlook is mixed, at best. Some of the buildings will be original, some cliched re-workings of designs we've seen far too much of in South Florida already.

    Many questions arise. The rate of construction beggars our capacity to control quality. No planning department could keep up with it, not to mention the building department that must monitor quality of construction, code compliance and safety; add to this the fact that the building trades here are not renowned for their craftsmanship.

    So far, we have had a lot of what might be called design-by-slogan, with promises of the lushest, poshest, most sophisticated life. Sales are promoted at cocktail parties with ''chic attire'' requested. And the names, each cooler than the last (Ice, Icon, Lynx, Mist, Neo, Onyx, Opus), make one yearn for the days of street addresses, period.

    The public is treated to a barrage of glamorous images in newspaper ads and inserts and mailers and even signs and billboards, but those in the end are just artists' renderings that don't reflect the inevitable ''value engineering'' to get construction prices down. To see how this affects a high-rise design, look at the original images of Miami Beach's 40-story Setai, the tallest tower on the historic waterfront. Setai is a handsome-enough building, but it is not the dramatic or detailed work of architecture that was envisioned or publicly approved. And that is offered only as a cautionary tale, to say that what you see is not always what you get. Advertising and public relations are not architecture.

    The questions deepen when one moves to the linked issues of urbanism and city-building, the inevitable tricky questions of how buildings meet the street, of what to do with the cars, and what kind of amenities and activities will accompany these new buildings. Some projects are ''mixed use'' and will offer shopping and eating as well as housing, but others are (as Le Corbusier put it so many years ago) ''machines for living'' without even the pretense of being part of an urban fabric.

    It stands to reason that 69,039 new housing units means somewhere upward of 100,000 parking spaces, far too many of them in podium garages that become the bulky faceless base of most of our buildings; some architects do well at disguising these. Some projects have paid careful attention to how their buildings meet the ground, to the all-important connection of residents to terra firma, but in others, that ''eyes on the street'' contact with place that lower-floor living offers will not exist.

    The bond between people and place is a key step to creating community, and it is rarely (one can never say ''never'') achieved when the typical urban resident goes from a 50th-floor aerie (great view) to parking garage to car. That is indeed the urban equivalent of a very expensive theme park, and it is not urbanism.

    Real urbanism does not exist in the sky but on the street. It is achieved when people put their feet on the ground. Most new residents will end up driving to the grocery store, the exception being those who will live within reach of the new Whole Foods Market downtown or who choose to walk to one of the two Publix markets near Brickell. But think of Manhattan or San Francisco or, for that matter, Paris or Rome, or any other place with a vibrant urban life, and you see evolutionary cities with streets lined with small shops -- bakeries, cafes, pizzerias, pharmacies, hairdressers, shoe repair shops, stationers, book stores, not to mention schools and cinemas and public parks and plazas -- that meet the needs of residents without requiring parking places.

    Who will live in this new city we're building? It's impossible to tell by real estate sales, as so many purchases are done for investment (and often ''flipped,'' or resold as soon as possible), and the industry knows, even if they won't admit it, that deposits on units are not actually sales.

    Anecdotally, I can look to the row of glamorous high-rise condos along Alton Road south of Fifth Street, another instant urban environment that seemed to pop up out of nowhere. Last fall, a magazine assignment took me into one of these, a 300-unit building. When I got there, things were remarkably quiet. I asked the guard how many people were in residence right then, and he told me: 35. That is probably bad news, in that we are usurping the shoreline and the sky for these very big buildings, and good -- as it means that at any given time, such a building is not spewing 300 or 400 cars onto our roadways. And if that translates across the bay, to Latin American, European and North American buyers not in full residence at any time, the implications are much the same.

  7. #172

    Default Plaza on Brickell Tower I and II

    Miami project # 38

    Plaza on Brickell Tower I
    851 Brickell Avenue
    Miami, FL

    Construction end late 2006

    Plaza on Brickell Tower II
    901 Brickell Avenue
    Miami, FL

    Construction ends early 2006

    Plaza on Brickell Tower I is to the left and Plaza on Brickell Tower II is to the right up front of this rendering.
    Last edited by Archit_K; May 30th, 2005 at 09:29 AM.

  8. #173

    Default A development lawyer speaks about Miami

    More thoughts on Miami's building boom, this time from attorney Matthew Gorson, as interviewed in this morning's Miami Herald.

    Relevant portions from the interview follow....

    Whether you love or hate the way South Pointe has evolved over the past decade with high rises such as Portofino Towers, the man with a hand in all of the large-scale development at the south tip of Miami Beach is Matthew B. Gorson.

    Indeed, Gorson -- Miami real estate lawyer and national operating shareholder for Greenberg Traurig -- has done the legal work resulting in many of the high-rise towers now in the planning stage or dotting South Florida's cities and shorelines. His clients include developers Jorge Perez, Michael Swerdlow and Ian Bruce Eichner, among others.

    Is this the biggest boom you have seen in South Florida in more than 30 years practicing real estate law in Miami? Where is this headed?

    A: It has been dramatic for the last three years, the most I have ever seen.

    I think Miami is going to become one of the major cities of the world. I already think it is one of the most attractive, wonderful places to live. The rest of the world is finding that out. People will continue to beat a path to our door. There is no reason why this city couldn't have 5 million, 8 million, 10 million people. But that is not going to happen unless we go vertical.

    We are not going to impinge on the Everglades much further, if at all. So there is only one way to go, and that is up. And I think we will build up.

    Q: What is the biggest danger? And how many of these buildings will actually be built?

    A: I think the biggest danger is over-development because of sales to investors and the potential of people buying who don't intend to necessarily live in a unit -- who are either going to rent it, hold it, sell it. If too many units come onto the market and we have a change in the economy in terms of interest rates going up too high, there may not be the ability to resell the units or to rent the units.

    On the other hand, I see Miami continuing to grow. Despite the fact we have had so much development, I am cautiously optimistic because we continue to attract people. And not only from Latin America and the Northeast, but from Europe. And we are going to start attracting [them] from Asia. . . . Ultimately, the inventory will be used up. But we may have some slow periods.

    [In terms of how many announced projects will be completed,] I think at least half will get built. We've had a lot of inflation in the cost of construction and while prices of units are going up, there is going to be a limit. We are all aware that real estate is cyclical and that at some point there will either be a down cycle or cooling off or stabilization of some sort, particularly if interest rates continue to rise. Given our economy and deficits, I don't see the Fed continuing to increase rates too much. I am cautiously optimist the ride will continue. We have been in a good environment for real estate for at least 10 years. That's as long a string as I can remember. I see no sign of it slowing down right now.

    If history serves us, it will.

    But there may be a rotation. Right now, everything is condominium. If people come and fill up these buildings being sold, we will need more retail for sure. Hopefully we will need more office buildings. So you may see a rotation as well.

    Q: A big issue is having a more pedestrian-friendly environment, more open spaces. Is this a priority for developers?

    A: I think those who are from Miami and care about the community for sure are concerned about a proper long-term development plan. As an example, Jorge Perez of The Related Group sits on the Downtown Development Authority, and the DDA has just spent the last two years working to try and get planning for the entire Biscayne corridor, the Brickell corridor, Flagler Street, so there is some consistency so developers who come to the city will know what is expected of them by way of treescapes, retail, benches, whatever it might be at the street level so we can have a beautiful, workable city.

  9. #174

    Default Is Miami's building boom headed for a fall?

    As some 60,000 new condos will be coming on line in Miami, some area investors are now stockpiling cash and waiting to jump in and buy them (and even buy entire unfinished towers) at rock bottom prices, believing the current market cannot sustain itself much longer...especially when all the speculators simultaneously start trying to flip the units they've bought, as the 100 or so new buildings going up in Miami are completed.

    Here's the link from today's Miami Herald:

  10. #175


    Today, 6/6, was Soleil's first day of sales. I passed on the opportunity to purchase a unit today b/c of all the housing market unknows. I wonder how it went.

  11. #176

    Default Must-Read Article About Selling Those Glam Miami Condos

    Anyone following the luxury condo tower explosion in Miami has to read this article about how the apartments are being marketed...including the throw-away nature of the million dollar sales centers that get bulldozed when the tower breaks ground.

  12. #177

    Default Miami skyline poster available

    The recent artist's rendering in the Miami Herald of Miami's future skyline is now available as a poster, from this website:

  13. #178

    Default Miami Photog's Website

    Hello everyone,

    Please take a look at I am interested in any feedback on the photos and navigation of the site. This is only the beta version. More images are to be added soon as well as a client log-in area and "credentials" section.

    Please go to the contact section and send me an e-mail.

    Thank you in advance,
    Jeff Stevens

  14. #179

  15. #180


    Now that you've used the forum for advertising your product, we here at WiredNY hope to see you become an active contributing member to our discussions and not drop off the face of the Earth, as seems to be the case much of the time - fair deal?

    Excellent pictures, by the way.

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