After Waldorf Astoria, Miami‘s First Supertall Tower, Here’s The Pipeline Of Planned Towers

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The Waldorf Astoria Hotel & Residences is the first supertall building to break ground in Miami. It probably won’t be the last. Coming up on its heels are a handful of other proposed skyscrapers that appear to be moving steadily if slowly ahead after years of delays, grandiose announcements and some wishful thinking from developers looking to bust through the fabled 300-meter — nearly 1,000-foot — benchmark.

At least two more plans for supertalls have now received the needed government approvals and the kind of backing required to undertake the complex process of designing and building towers far taller than anything Miami has seen before. A third project also may vie for supertall status, after winning approval at a lower height. And the firm of veteran Miami developer Tibor Hollo, who built Panorama Tower, for the moment still Miami’s tallest building, says it’s finally ready to start work on a fourth exemplar, a long-contemplated supertall on Biscayne Boulevard in downtown Miami, just a few blocks south of the Waldorf.

With one exception, the projects all aim for 1,049 feet — the maximum allowed by the Federal Aviation Administration and Miami-Dade County to safeguard routes to and from Miami International Airport. There’s a big caveat. A recession or even just a slowing local real estate market could force developers to shelve their plans anew.

These are the projects paving the way to a spikier skyline:

▪ Swire Properties, developer of Brickell City Centre, is teaming with Related Companies of New York on One Brickell City Centre. At 1,049 feet, the planned tower would be Miami’s and Florida’s tallest — and largest — office building, with a massive 1.6 million square feet of space, the developers said. They plan to start construction on the tower, designed by Miami’s Arquitectonica, next year.

The tower, which would face Brickell Avenue, is an expansion of Swire’s Brickell City Centre, a multiblock, multilevel development comprising shops, a hotel, apartments and offices. Swire first announced plans for a supertall back in 2013, when the developer acquired the proposed building’s site on Brickell Avenue, but the scheme was subsequently put on hold. Originally envisioned as a mix of residential and commercial uses, the project was resuscitated and tweaked earlier this year when Swire joined forces with Related — the one run by billionaire Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, and not to be confused with the Miami-based Related Group founded by billionaire Jorge Perez. In September, Miami commissioners approved a significant change to the original development permit that allows for expanded floor plates. Construction could begin as soon as early 2023.

▪ The City of Miami, Hyatt Hotels and developer Gencom will go to voters in November for a referendum on plans for a mammoth, $1.5 billion redevelopment on the publicly owned site of the 40-year-old downtown Hyatt Regency and James L. Knight Center complex on the Miami River. The Miami Riverbridge proposal, encompassing hotel rooms, apartments, meeting space and an overhauled public riverfront promenade, envisions three towers designed by Arquitectonica, one of them a supertall. ▪ Brightline rail’s parent company, Florida East Coast Industries, gave up on previously announced plans to build a supertall on vacant land next to its sprawling MiamiCentral train station complex, but has agreed instead to sell the property to J3T Ventures of New York. FECI had secured approval to build twin 83-story towers designed by Miami’s Zyscovich earlier this year, but at 848 feet — actually short of the supertall benchmark. An insider, who requested anonymity, told the Miami Herald the new developer has asked the FAA to approve a height over 900 feet.

Florida East Coast Realty (not related to Florida East Coast Industries) says it’s moving forward with another long-planned supertall. This one would replace the firm’s current headquarters, a 1963 office high-rise at South Biscayne Boulevard and Southeast First Street that FECR intends to demolish in the first quarter of 2023. The new, 1,049-foot One Bayfront Plaza would comprise office, commercial, hotel and residential space. The new tower, above Biscayne Bay, would take on the existing building’s One Bayfront Plaza name. “One Bayfront Plaza will be a mixed-use development of modern design, encompassing more than three million square feet comprised of class-A office space and an upscale retail mall together with a luxury hotel, high-end residences and parking garage,” according to a statement from FECR, in response to a query from the Herald.

“The project encompasses two full city blocks and will reach a height of 1,049 feet above Biscayne Bay.”

Source: Miami Herald