Brickell City Centre Could Pave The Way For Taller Towers In The Downtown Area

Taller towers could be in store for downtown Miami, following the Federal Aviation Administration’s decision to approve Swire Properties’ One Brickell City Centre last week.

A height limit that had restricted towers in the area to 1,010 feet is being lifted to 1,049 feet.

Swire had initially proposed to build a tower that reached 1,111 feet above sea level. After negotiating with the FAA, the height of the proposed tower was reduced to 1,049 feet, which the agency eventually approved.

During negotiations, the Miami-Dade Aviation Department informed the FAA that they were considering increasing the height limit over parts of downtown Miami from 1,010 feet to 1,049 feet, helping to clinch the favorable decision (TNM will publish the revised height atlas soon.)

In a letter, the FAA wrote that the new tower will require revised procedures for planes taking off and landing Miami International Airport, including increased climb gradients and raised minimums for planes on approach. Unusually, Swire will be required to notify the FAA six weeks prior to starting construction so that the agency can publish new Minimum Vectoring Altitudes and Minimum Obstruction Clearance Altitudes for the area.

Although those revisions are not considered to be significant, they could affect fuel requirements for airlines. Parties who oppose the approval, including airlines, have until August to file an objection.


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If parties opposing the approval have until August to file an objection, this will be ample time for mayor Tomas Regalado to come up with a reason to be against this. Maybe Norman Braman will file a suit which will claim that Miami residents’ civil rights are being violated should any structure taller than his new luxury car dealership be approved.


Regarding cat 5 storms, there’s this thing called insurance…


How will these buildings do if a Cat 5 hits Miami again?


Tall buildings which are constructed in Miami today must conform to a strict building code and have to be able to withstand 175 mph winds. I wonder how the skyscrapers in New York City will hold up if a Cat 4 hurricane strikes? Perhaps this means that no more skyscrapers should be built there and the ones already standing should be dismantled? How about Houston, where a Cat 5 hurricane is at least as likely to strike as Miami, should tall buildings be banned now there too? And what about Los Angeles and San Francisco? I guess no more new construction in those cities too because of the earthquake risk, right?


Not even talking about Asia, which is being hit every year by typhoons of maximum strength, yet builds buildings much taller than anything even remotely discussed here.


The heck with these very tall buildings, the question is, how well will the entire city of Miami be if a “Cat 5” hurricane hit?


Probably quite well, actually. Don’t forget that Miami is one year shy of reaching 120 years of existence (since it was incorporated, that is) and has been hit over and over again by major hurricanes. One storm in 1926 that hit Miami directly was just shy of Category 5 strength. I have seen numerous photos of the aftermath as well as some old film footage and not a single hi-rise structure that existed in downtown Miami then was even severely damaged, let alone knocked down altogether. Most of the damage that occurred was due to storm surge and that was mostly in the immediate shoreline areas. There would be a lot of damage if a Cat 5 hurricane struck Miami, yes. And immediately following that, there would likely be an unprecedented building boom, partially using the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund that the state has been investing in for the past ten hurricane-free years and now runs well into the billions of dollars of reserve. This fund is used to back up private property insurers so that the latter will not be so reticent in accepting property insurance policies in Florida, for fear that they would go bankrupt following a disastrous… Read more »