Going Up

A Vertical Amusement Park Has Become a Tall Project Challenge



“I believe that SkyRise Miami will become Miami's ‘Eiffel Tower’ and a symbol of Miami's growing stature as a 21st-century global city.”

—Carlos Gimenez, mayor, Miami-Dade County

The SkyRise vertical amusement park is fraught with design and construction challenges. But before the project team could turn to those, the plans first had to clear the courtroom. Initially approved by voters in Miami, Florida, USA in 2014, SkyRise was stalled by lawsuits attempting to block the city from allocating US$9 million in property taxes for the project, based on environmental grounds. The Florida Supreme Court has sided with the developers, and construction is finally slated to begin later this year.

Both the height—1,000 feet or 305 meters—and structural steel and concrete design are a first for this part of Florida, says Brad Meltzer, CEO of project sponsor Plaza Construction. So the project team called upon specialized fabricators and tradespeople from farther afield, throughout the project's design phase. “The building is void of uses from the podium to almost 500 feet [152 meters], making the planning of the structure more complicated,” Mr. Meltzer told Building Design + Construction.

The unique design will allow the vertical theme park to house an indoor-controlled free-fall system, a drop tower-style ride featuring a 95-mile-per-hour (153-kilometer-per-hour) descent, among other attractions. Once complete, the project is expected to draw more than 3 million visitors a year.


SkyRise Miami


US$400 million


Slated to open 2023


Miami, Florida, USA


When it opens, SkyRise Miami will be the tallest building in Florida.

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