Artist's rendering of Miapolis, a proposed project in downtown Miami.
Artist's rendering of Miapolis, a proposed project in downtown Miami.
Courtesy of Kobi Karp

City Square isn't Miami's craziest project

If developer Mark Siffin keeps getting his way (and he has greased plenty of palms on Dinner Key to make sure he does), Miami's skyline could soon be bisected by two towering, 40-story digital billboards next to the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.

Sure, the glowing monstrosities would probably induce regular epileptic seizures on the MacArthur Causeway, but they're far from the craziest plan ever foisted upon the Magic City.

Don't forget this is a town that thrived only because of Henry Flagler's certifiably lunatic plan to build a railroad all the way through the Florida Keys. Loco land barons are our lifeblood.


Miami City Square

But here are four real proposals so whacked-out that even we rejected them:

• Miapolis: Imagine a gold-hued phallus tipped with twin spikes like Saruman's evil lair soaring 3,000 feet above Biscayne Bay. It's the world's tallest building — putting Dubai's Burj to shame — and it rises from the ashes of Jungle Island. Backer Guillermo Socarras still has a flashy website and claims to be lining up donors for Miapolis, but this one seems to have as much chance of materializing as a Kendrick Meek comeback.

• The shape-shifting skyscraper: What's a worse idea than erecting a billion-dollar condo for the ultrarich at the height of America's worst recession in generations? How about an über-luxe skyscraper that freaking shape-shifts? That's just what Italian architect David Fisher proposed in 2008 with his Dynamic Tower, a stack of 20,000-square-foot condos hung from a central column and constantly rotated by wind-powered turbines. If this thing can also morph into a combo Pizza Hut/Taco Bell, it might actually get some customers.

• North Miami's indoor ski slope: You've thought about it a hundred times while lying on South Beach, cooking to a nice shade of Snooki, and pounding Coronas: Why can't I go skiing right now? That's what the notoriously crooked government of North Miami thought, at least. In April, the city sold a 193-acre former toxic waste dump on Biscayne Bay to two developers who have proposed building Solar Mountain, an indoor ski resort with a 550-foot hill, a 163-meter jump, and ice-skating rinks. The project is still technically in the works, but you can plan to strap on your skis around the same time Hugo Chávez enters a gay marriage with Dubya.

• Interama: Did we mention North Miami has had some Hunter S. Thompson-worthy mind trips over the years? Back in the mid-'60s, a state-chartered competition produced one for the ages: Interama, a permanent "Fair of the Americas" topped with a 1,000-foot, Jetsons-esque skyscraper surrounded by water and accessible only by tunnel. Alas, only the federal government had the cash to pull off such an ambitious plan, and even Tricky Dick found this one a little too crazy to stomach.


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >