It was only a matter of time. No sooner than the Burj Dubai
was crowned the world's tallest building, a rival plan would create a skyscraper even taller. The real surprise? It's In Miami.
The proposed Miapolis
which would pierce the sky 3,200 feet above Miami -- more than 600 feet higher than the half-mile high Burj.
The folks behind Miapolis (a rendering of it is pictured) see it as more than a building; it's an urban planning tool. Besides stealing the world's-tallest-tower claim from the United Arab Emirates, the developers believe their cloud-scraper would reinvent Miami as a tourist destination and economic center. Lord knows Miami could use a boost. The city's got so many foreclosed properties -- over 100,000, according to the Miami Herald -- that as of this week they're auctioning them off online
But, um, is an enormous skyscraper the way back to the land of the living, real estate wise? Already the Burj Dubai (or the Burj Khalifa, as it's been rebranded) has been the scourge of critics, even those who admire its sleek profile. It's a symbol of the excesses of the first decade of this century, a project the once-wealthy Emirates couldn't even afford to finish (they renamed it after their white knight investor). The Burj has generated plenty of press, much of it critical, but will it actually help lift Dubai from its financial depths and debts? We're thinking not.
The Miapolis seems to be borrowing similarly outdated architectural logic, creating a self-sustained city-in-a-tower (this one would include an amusement park, a mall, condos, etc.) rather than repairing the ailing city itself. Can the mega-tower really create 35,000 permanent jobs, pay down $39 million of debts, and inject $2.5 billion into the local economy, as its business plan states?
Well, nobody knows for sure, especially since funding isn't in place. (The people behind the plan are actively soliciting "founding partners"). The building is, at present, simply a tease, a nose-thumbing aimed at Dubai, and perhaps a last remnant of developer hubris and wishful thinking. As the Miami Herald reported
, the Miapolis plans raise more questions than answers.