Berkowitz Plans 1000-Foot Skyrise Miami Observation Deck

  • Pin It

Developer Jeff Berkowitz has submitted plans to the city of Miami for an observation tower called Skyrise Miami, exMiami has learned.

The Arquitectonica-designed proposal is slated to begin construction in 2014 on what is currently a surface parking lot behind Bayside Marketplace.

Skyrise will include three observation decks. Also included: A restaurant, nightclub, private lounge and a ballroom. Other attractions planned are a moving theater, Skyplunge and Skyrise Drop.

Berkowitz is best known for developing major shopping centers throughout Miami, including Aventura Commons, Dadeland Station and Fifth & Alton.

The FAA has granted approval for Skyrise Miami to be built at a height of 1000 feet above sea level (990 feet above ground level).



  1. MiamiArchi

    November 19, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Wow, I have to say I actually really like it concept design etc.
    I just hope they really invest on not only the landscape at its base but the landscape to there; as currently its just a back road and is not pedestrian friendly or inviting at all.

    • Marc

      November 19, 2013 at 4:06 pm

      Yeah, access to it seems limited especially with the old Hard Rock location smack dab in the way. This will probably be a heavily visited tourist destination too so I don’t know.

  2. Marc

    November 19, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    Don’t know how I feel about this. I like the observation tower idea but the design is going to take time getting used to.

  3. Lana

    November 19, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    This is awful! Talk about bad urban planning. This thing is an eyesore that does not relate to anything in its immediate context.

    • Anonymous

      November 21, 2013 at 4:30 pm

      Thats what they said about the Transamerica Pyramid too. Time/history will judge but at least there is courage to try sometime new

    • Nunya Bizniz

      November 21, 2013 at 11:31 pm

      What exactly do you think would relate to a 1000 foot observation tower?

  4. Meagan

    November 19, 2013 at 4:12 pm

    I just purchased a smaller version of this that takes 3 double A batteries. Keep it in my naughty drawer.

    • Jimmy

      November 19, 2013 at 5:20 pm

      I got the one that plugs into the wall

    • MiamiArchi

      November 19, 2013 at 5:46 pm

      I honestly don’t think it’s all that phallic looking.
      Now if the building belongs in your S&M collection is another story. lol.

  5. mind in the gutter

    November 19, 2013 at 4:36 pm

    hmmmm…it is very phallic

  6. Jake

    November 19, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Is this a rehash of the old Solar Universe Miami proposal? Either way I really like it!!!

  7. Kelly

    November 19, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Great if you like increased traffic and congestion in that area! Bigger isn’t always better and this does resemble something you put batteries in. It will make somebody a lot of moneyand definitely improve the skyline, great idea!

  8. Assure A Smile

    November 19, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Love this idea. Miami could use an observation deck. It could become a Miami icon as well. Imagine watching that Skyrise slowly sink below the horizon as you drift away on a Caribbean cruise… What an impression that would make on visitors!

    • weeder

      November 22, 2013 at 8:50 am

      What’s to be observed in this city? Not like we have mountains covered in fall foliage or snow capped in the winter!

  9. Anonymous

    November 19, 2013 at 7:45 pm

    This is a great idea, it will bring a unique structure to downtown. I feel many tourist as well as residents will enjoy the observation decks and amenities.

  10. anon

    November 19, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Can’t wait to try the sky plunge & free fall. I think its great. Will bring more people to where they belong.

    • Gerwyn Flax

      December 25, 2013 at 2:29 pm

      I have to agree with Charles. Since the developer obviously wanted to create a landmark structure, why would they settle on such a pointless and distasteful building? Worldwide, there are so many outstanding examples to draw from. If this structure says “Miami”,then i think Arquitectonica’s view of Miami is unflattering.

  11. Charles

    November 19, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    Underwhelming architecture ….arquirectonica is so dull and stale…..they have lost the wow factor….. Sad!!
    They should be looking at the cutting edge structures and buildings of Dubai, Abu Dhabi , Doha & Shanghai for inspiration ….

  12. george

    November 19, 2013 at 9:33 pm


  13. Loves scenery

    November 19, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    I hope the developer doesn’t install any billboards or LED ads.

    • Mr. Gumsandals

      November 20, 2013 at 7:39 am

      I expect that’s one of the main reasons we’re getting this thing. I suspect the mesh exoskeleton will be impregnated with hundreds of thousands of LEDs with one single purpose: making big bucks off of advertising (when it’s not dazzling us with way-cool animation).

      • anon

        January 7, 2014 at 12:55 pm

        I was concerned about that too. Luckily, The Miami Herald reported that “The city permit he has applied for would prohibit them on the tower’s exterior.”

  14. XVS

    November 19, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    Perfect. Absolutely perfect.

  15. Darío

    November 19, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    I love it
    Finally a structure different from most buildings in Miami
    We need more aggressive architecture like in great cities in the world such Dubai, Shaghai etc
    I hope they build it

  16. Miami Beach

    November 19, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    Jeff Berkowitz is the same dude who installed three illegal LED billboards on Watson Island on the Children’s Museum. Those illegal billboards advertise trips to Mexico, Dominican Republic and Panama plus other assorted unsavory products.

    • Mr. Gumsandals

      November 20, 2013 at 7:43 am

      And Arquitectonica was a co-conspirator– the Children’s Museum is their work.

  17. Anonymous

    November 19, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    Most significant proposal in Miami for the past century.

    • Anonymous

      November 21, 2013 at 10:46 am

      Did you already forget about the tunnel under government cut to the port of Miami? That’s equally, if not more, significant than another building in the skyline.

  18. Anon

    November 20, 2013 at 12:09 am

    What a brilliant ripoff for the developer. Build it on public parkland so no land cost. Half the cost or less to build than a condominium or office tower. Cost to buy off each commissioner vote should be minimal with a 100 year land lease. Then this butt ugly POS will rain money. You can then charge each visitor $5.00 to go to the top and and when they want to come down charge $30.00 for the round trip to come down. Mark Sarnoff Rockefeller will love this idea.

  19. that someone

    November 20, 2013 at 12:46 am

    i do like the idea of an observation deck on this land to view the beauty of our city yet I’m sure if this is the best design. As others have mentioned it does look phallic and would there would be endless supply of jokes regarding it and the city. Also, wouldn’t we want something iconic that will stand the test of time?

    • Anonymous

      November 22, 2013 at 3:13 am

      not only stand the test of time, but something that will stand the force of hurricane winds!

  20. JK

    November 20, 2013 at 9:52 am

    What a piece of trash this is. I feel really sorry for Miami and what aquitectonica is doing is doing to it. Shame on arquitectonica, shame on the zoning and building officials who let this happen and shame on the public who approves this type of mediocrity. We, in Miami, are secretly the laughingstock of the architectural community in the US.

    • Reynaldo Soto

      November 20, 2013 at 10:21 am

      You are an stupid cavemen.

    • the real JK

      November 20, 2013 at 10:57 am

      how dare you use my initials whilst sounding like, as Reynaldo Soto put it, a “caveman.” we’re all glad that you have the inside track and the ears of the architectural community. we’re happy for you that you know the secrets and what people REALLY think. you are indeed an inside man.

      and also, irregardless of dumb JK… that’s right… irregardless… id genuinely like to see an actual phallis as our observation deck #thatssomiami embrace the weird people…. embrace it.

      • the fake JK

        November 20, 2013 at 3:04 pm

        Real JK and Reynaldo, there’s just no use in arguing with people like you. ..Simply because you don’t even understand the problem and its implications. Ignorance is bliss, this totally applies on this case. Good for you.

  21. Anonymous

    November 20, 2013 at 10:57 am

    When sea level rise starts putting Miami underwater, we can use it to mark each record high tide.

  22. Mayteh

    November 20, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Did they know learn what happen to the twin towers after the 911 attack

  23. Michael Hayle

    November 20, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Build a replica of ” The Lighthouse At Allexandria “. Miami is The Capital Of The Americas. City of the future where trade commerce and banking sustains us. Alexandria Egypt was our counterpart over 2000 yrs ago and built one of the “Ancient Wonders Of The World” to signify that. Build a 1000 ft. high ” LightHouse At Miami” with an observation deck and beacon on top that can be seen at night by ships still miles out at sea and a building that will stand the test of time and people will identify this structure as symbolic to Miami. This current rendering is not worthy. Back to the drawing board.

    • Mr. Gumsandals

      November 21, 2013 at 2:05 pm

      I came up with a “Colossus of Rhodes” done Miami-style for the proposed Island Gardens megayacht marina. You can see it here along with other ideas re bringing major sculptural pieces to SoFl: The “beach ball” goes back-and-forth along an arch over the marina inlet– and lights up at night.

  24. Alejandro "EL CONDOR" Arce

    November 20, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    While visiting DUBAI I was told about the tall structure that was to be built.
    It appears that Miami is turning into a little Hong Kong or a big DUBAI and getting away from being the Havana of America.
    The fact is that Miami is a different city and that new “things” appeal to most people. I say “most people” , meaning the large Cuban sector.
    So we will have a very tall structure that can be seen from the air.
    What about a terrorist attack?
    And, do we need more attraction in this small piece of land?

    I am in favor of “DEVELOPMENT”, however the meaning of it could be misleading when more and more construction are approved by our , so corrupted legislators.
    I am sure that there will be “meetings” and all types of discussion knowing that, at the end, the developers will win, one way or the other. I am not against, or in favor of more developing since I am looking at MIAMI as a place where the impossible occurs when you have the money to do it
    Let’s watch for the money under the table that happens when assigned contracts to friends, relatives, people with funds etc. etc. and company

    • Mr. Gumsandals

      November 21, 2013 at 2:15 pm

      Alejandro, the best thing you wrote was: Miami “is a place where the impossible occurs.” That would make a great slogan for the CofC. As for the rest of your post, not building big because of fear of terrorist attacks only gives power to the terrorists. It takes some big cahones to build tall in the first place and even bigger ones post 9/11. I’m proud I live in a country where its people grow ‘em big.

  25. gustavo

    November 20, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    this will definitely bring a Red Bull stunt race to miami. I have never liked any of Berkowitz developments. I just hope he doesnt stick a another Britto in front of it.

    • Tony

      November 20, 2013 at 10:19 pm

      Please no more Britto
      I m so glad they are thinking outside the box in Architectural Design
      We do not need more rectangle buildings at all
      Be creative people and stop critisizing this wonderful project
      I hope they build it

      • the "fake" JK

        November 21, 2013 at 2:32 pm

        I agree with the ‘no more Britto’ position, however, it is quite ignorant to say that a ‘rectangle building’ equals not being creative and thinking inside the box. Do your homework before saying things like that. For example, have you seen the new museum of modern art going up at Bicentennial Park? I guess it wouldn’t be creative according to your commentary. Right?..

  26. pawnmaster

    November 20, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    1) He will not place billboards as the type of permit he has applied for will not allow it,
    2) it doesn’t look like a vib, more like a hairpin really,
    3) it would work, bayside is mostly a tourist attraction and tourists LOOOVVVEEE these kinds of things.

    • Bernd

      November 20, 2013 at 10:56 pm

      Except it would totally ruin the nice view of the Bay. Who wants to stare at the base of that monstrosity?

      I really hope this project dies, or at the very least gets a total redesign by someone who actually has taste.

  27. Anonymous

    November 21, 2013 at 1:42 am

    the area now is a parking lot. this would be great the tourist will love it and as was previously stated bayside is a tourist destination. i just hope that bayside will be updated also as it looks like something that belongs in the eighties maybe because when it was built it was already outdated. i feel this will enhance the parks and add to the things that people can do when visiting now a bridge connecting them as was originally promised would definitely create a flow between them and enhance the baywalk

    • Mr. Gumsandals

      November 21, 2013 at 2:21 pm

      Rip-off! Unless, of course, you prefer the euphemism “inspired by.” It’s amazing how much they look alike.

  28. ARTURO

    November 21, 2013 at 9:57 am

    I’ve often wondered why the taller buildings in Miami didn’t have an observation deck on top? This would have been easily mandated to be included in their plans by the County Commission before their approval. In any case, I favor this one, although I am not impressed by the design. I hope it has unobstructed 360 degree visibility. It appears from the design drawings that you can only see out of the east and west. There’s also limited parking in Bayside, although most of the visitors probably won’t be driving there.

    • Marc

      November 21, 2013 at 12:22 pm

      Yes, it will only have unobstructed views to the east and west. There’s a thorough description of this project in the Herald.

      • Mr. Gumsandals

        November 21, 2013 at 2:24 pm

        But it won’t have an unobstructed 360 degree view, i.e., north and south will, at best, be seen through a screen of some sort that, I’m betting, will be laced with LEDs.

  29. Daniel

    November 21, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Please sign our petition to stop this ridiculous development:

    • Fernando

      November 21, 2013 at 12:02 pm

      I think you have the petition all wrong. The main issues with this is the design. Your petition indicates that enough with additional development in Downtown Miami when actually we need the opposite. Downtown Miami has so much more to do and develop – so much to grow. The issue is that we want iconic infrastructures that meet the quality of designs and creativity seen in Asian markets and other. Have a petition like that which targets the design of this and compares it to structures in Asia and other and you’ll get my signature.

    • Marc

      November 21, 2013 at 12:25 pm

      Yeah, I’m against this particular design and possibly this particular location but I welcome an iconic structure to Miami’s growing skyline any day of the week as long as it’s done with taste.

    • Mr. Gumsandals

      November 21, 2013 at 2:30 pm

      I won’t sign the petition because, although I may have a problem with future advertising racing up and down its facade, I like the overall concept and have no problem with it. In fact, I wish they would make it taller– the tallest ever– but, alas, the FAA would go apopletic.

    • Friend

      November 24, 2013 at 10:13 pm

      Your petition question is poorly drafted. Try again.

  30. Anonymous

    November 21, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    I won’t sign this petition, I feel this would be a great addition to the park and as for stopping development in downtown this is where major development should happen. We need to create more density in the core of the city it is where we have the best transit and it still can use improvement. But people can get around with out the use of a car in the downtown area. So we should take this opportunity to continue to develop mix use projects and provide the entertainment that a vibrant downtown needs.

  31. Luke

    November 21, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    Clearly a fancy looking draw bridge that never goes down. Welcoming those coming from the east and west. Nice symbol. Good for Miami.

  32. Joe

    November 21, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    Berkowtiz has a small penis.

    • Kathy

      February 24, 2014 at 2:07 pm


  33. Anonymous

    November 22, 2013 at 9:48 am

    Great an observation tower with more than half of its perimeter being either solid concrete or covered by metal mesh

  34. Tim Balsam

    November 23, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    The site is owned by the City’s taxpayers. Local politicians should not give the land away.

    • Anonymous

      November 25, 2013 at 11:14 am

      Yes we should leave it as a parking lot, because god knows we don’t have enough of those.

  35. Anonymous

    November 25, 2013 at 9:55 am

    Excellent project.

  36. Gared

    November 25, 2013 at 10:47 am

    It’s an awesome project,it belongs in Miami,exactly where it’s planed.Once it’s built,the tourists and the majority of locals will love it.Hopefully you will too.It says “Miami”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>