SkyRise Miami Approved, Developer Promises "It's Better Looking Than the Eiffel Tower"

SkyRise Miami is happening, and its developer isn't shy about it.

The 1,000-foot entertainment tower on Biscayne Bay has been billed as the "Eiffel Tower of Miami." After county commissioners approved the project yesterday, however, developer Jeff Berkowitz said SkyRise will surpass its Parisian competitor.

"I think it's better looking than the Eiffel Tower," he told reporters.

See also: Skyrise Returns to Commission Today For Vote On $9 Million In Taxpayer Support

A month ago, commissioners deadlocked on the idea of giving SkyRise $9 million in public funds. But yesterday, the idea easily passed 7-3. The county will eventually be paid for by raising property taxes.

Berkowitz said the vote "sends the message to China ... and all over the world that Dade County supports SkyRise Miami," according to the Herald.

"Yesterday the Miami-Dade County Commission voted 7-3, allowing SkyRise to move forward as a game-changing world-class attraction for the city and the county. The commission's vote of confidence is an important signal to our investors as we focus on moving forward with our financing and development phase. While the funds for public roadway and infrastructure improvements won't be reimbursed until after the project is built, we are appreciative of the Mayor and Commission for supporting the public infrastructure needs of SkyRise," Berkowitz added in a written statement.

The developer is now trying to raise funds for the $430 million project.

Commissioners also approved a long-term plan to use $570 million in property taxes to renovate the Miami Beach convention center.

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Michael E. Miller was a staff writer at Miami New Times for five years. His work for New Times won many national awards, including back-to-back-to-back Sigma Delta Chi medallions. He now covers local enterprise for the Washington Post.