For nearly a decade, Guillermo Socarras has had a dream of constructing the world's tallest building in Miami. But plans have shifted. Backers, if they were ever really there, have backed out. The local economy, especially the building boom, has flat-lined. And just earlier this month, Dubai's Burj Khalifa, the tallest manmade structure in the world, officially opened to the public.
But Socarras holds on to his dream, and just this week, he unveiled a website detailing his plans for Miapolis -- a 3,000-foot-tall, 160-floor tower on Watson Island that would house an amusement park, marina, cultural centers, retail shops, and eateries.
Renderings of the building, by local firm Kobi Karp, absolutely dwarf Miami's newly "Manhattanized" skyline, suggesting we should now be prepared for Dubai-zation.
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The tower would replace tourist-trap/landmark Jungle Island, and the website claims the project would inject $2.5 billion annually into the local economy.
Miapolis -- more than twice the height of America's current tallest building, Willis Tower (the former Sears Tower in Chicago) -- is certainly a thrilling proposition that will fire up emotions for or against it, but it might be little more than a pipe dream. The Miami Herald talked to numerous market analysts who say that finding the financial backing for the project would be nearly impossible.
Socarras seems to be taking it seriously, though, entering into discussion with the FAA about the potential impact the structure could have on flights.