- Developer Berkowitz Development Group has chosen construction management and general contracting firm Plaza Construction to build SkyRise Miami, a 1,000-foot-tall entertainment and observation tower that will be the tallest building in Florida. The project, according to The Real Deal Miami, is valued at $540 million.
- The Arquitectonica-designed downtown Miami tower, which will overlook Biscayne Bay, will include an indoor drop tower-style ride with a 95-mph descent speed, as well as five observation decks, a 55-mph base-jumping experience, a zero-gravity tunnel, a transparent slide, a transparent deck at 866 feet and a “skywalk” at 908 feet. The project will also feature restaurant, music and bar space; an indoor playground; 14,000-square-feet of combined event and ballroom space; a 9,500-square-foot conference center with another 4,000-square-foot area for circulation; and an open-air terrace. Other members of the design team include structural and civil engineering firm Magnusson Klemencic Associates and mechanical and electrical engineering company Cosentini Associates.
- The project is scheduled to start construction in 2019 and wrap up in 2023. “Plaza’s culture of transparency and collaboration were two factors that I required,” said developer Jeff Berkowitz. “Plaza unequivocally checked both boxes and I’m confident that together, we’ll deliver a property that will stun and inspire South Floridians and global visitors for generations to come.”
Dodge Data & Analytics reported that the market for new amusement construction starts should remain healthy through 2019, but the construction research and data firm can likely remove one troubled attraction from its roster of successful projects — The New York Wheel on Staten Island, New York.
The project’s developers became entangled in its general contractor’s bankruptcy case after the Wheel reportedly ran into money troubles and construction stalled. Mammoet-Starneth has almost $70 million of Wheel parts in storage, so the bankruptcy judge gave developers a deadline by which they had to get the project going again or relinquish rights to the assets. Developers looked to New York City to help with financing through tax-free bonds, but that never came to pass, so wheel officials announced last month that they would not move forward with the project. Fortunately, for the Wheel’s EB-5 visa program investors, it looks like the project made enough progress so as not to interfere with their residency status.
Developers of the Texas Odyssey, a proposed Dallas observation wheel that is expected to rise more than 500 feet on a site near the downtown area, received some good news last month when the city council approved the rezoning necessary for the privately funded project to move forward. Pending some additional key approvals, construction could begin in September 2019.