It sounds like a scene from a sci-fi film, or perhaps hearkens back to flying cars and The Jetsons: In your aircraft you approach a high-rise in the sky, your Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) vehicle hovering over the 60th-story rooftop pool. A hydraulic lift raises the floor of the pool above, as water drains down the edges below, exposing the deck of the Skyport. You disembark amid striking panoramic views of Miami, step in to a glass elevator, and get whooshed to your luxury condominium overlooking turquoise water. It sounds fantastical, but a Miami developer believes this could be a reality for residents in 15 or 20 years. Daniel Kodsi, the developer behind the Paramount Miami Worldcenter, said it began by investigating future trends.
“These buildings will be around for 100 years, so we have to look at things that will be out in 15 or 20 years,” Kodsi tells Architectural Digest. “And we can clearly see Uber, Boeing, Airbus, and others putting serious research and development dollars into VTOLs, into these flying drones.”
Kodsi says it made sense to design the Skydeck now so that eventually a hydraulic lift mechanism can be installed beneath the pool, enabling it to transform into a take-off and landing pad should VTOLs come to fruition. Bell Helicopters was even consulted to understand what type of structural and weight requirements would be necessary. The technology for these vehicles already exists, but clearing a mountain of legislative hurdles means we won’t see them in practical use in the near term. And even further down the road would be a “flying car” scenario, where the vehicle would also have to pass safety and structural tests that all cars on public roads are subject to.
And while buyers may not get to use the Paramount Miami Worldcenter’s elaborate 5,000-square-foot Skyport for some time, the building is being billed as the “most amenity-rich” complex in the world, and certainly in America, say the developers. It is set to be complete and ready for occupancy by the end of 2019. In addition to the Skyport, the Paramount boasts a Sky Terrace and Sky Observatory with high-powered telescopes to gaze at the stars. From the rooftop, residents can take an elevator down a few floors to the Sky Lounge, where they can enjoy 360-degree views of the city. When complete, the Paramount will be one of Miami’s tallest perches.
In addition to its sweeping views, the Paramount offers over 46 different amenities including use of tennis courts, an actual soccer field, a boxing ring, a basketball court, a traditional gym, and a yoga and Pilates studio. There are five pools including a resort-style pool, with cabanas that Paramount has sold for $300,000 each, something more commonly done with beach access.
The larger Miami Worldcenter, of which the Paramount is a part of, is the second-largest urban construction project in America behind Hudson Yards. When completed, it will comprise ten pedestrian blocks of high-street retail shopping, restaurants, and cafés. There will be a total of 11 buildings, including offices, hotels, and residential apartments.
The Paramount is situated next to American Airlines Arena, home to the Miami Heat, and also the foremost hub of music and concerts in Miami. It also has direct access to Virgin Trains, whose high-speed rail connects Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach, and will soon add service to Orlando, Tampa, and beyond. This may be especially alluring, as Paramount boasts buyers from 56 different countries. “The idea is if you’re coming from abroad, you can fly into Orlando, take the family to Disney, take the high-speed train down to your residence in Miami, and you have everything at your disposal,” Kodsi says.
And if flying cars do arrive, the amenity-rich Miami high-rise will be ready with its grand Skyport.