Berkowitz Responds: SkyRise Won’t Cost Taxpayers Anything

Skyrise Miami developer Jeff Berkowitz defended his project today, writing in our comment section that the project won’t cost Miami taxpayers anything:

The SkyRise Miami project will NOT cost the City or its taxpayers anything. To the contrary, the lease amendment, which is still being negotiated, will generate $10s of Millions, if not $100’s of Millions in additional rental income and tax revenues FOR THE City and its taxpayers over the lease term. The lease amendment will require a refresh of the existing Bayside Marketplace, the immediate payment to the City of Millions and significant additional rental payments to the City in exchange for the lease extension. SkyRise Miami is projected to employ 900 people, making it one of Dade County’s largest private employers. Our economic study, vetted by the Beacon Council’s economists, projects the creation of more than 17,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs upon opening with an annual economic benefit to the Community of more than $1.3 Billion.

SkyRise Miami will occupy an unsightly surface parking lot, with replacement parking to be built beneath the Tower and by adding two additional levels on Bayside garages. The parking lot has been leased to Bayside for the next 46 years and is likely to remain a surface lot, unless the Tower is approved by the voters and built.

SkyRise Miami is a unique and iconic design, and while enthusiastically received by most people I have presented it to, may not be loved by everyone (“beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”). SkyRise Miami was conceived by a world renowned and highly respected architect, Bernardo Fort Brescia. Ultimately, the choice will be in the hand of the voters!

Jeff Berkowitz