Groundbreaking Takes Place for Miami’s First 100-Story Super Tower
By: Hadassa Kalatizadeh
Miami is getting its first over 1,000-foot tall building.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the Waldorf Astoria is building a 100-story residential tower in Miami. The ultra-luxury building is poised to be the first tower of such height in Southern Florida. The construction will test new techniques to build a super tower, able to withstand strong winds and hurricanes near sea level. The upcoming building boasts becoming the tallest residential building south of New York City. Developer PMG has announced an estimated completion date of 2027.
The groundbreaking ceremony took place in mid- October. The tower’s exterior is expected to resemble a series of glass cubes stacked unevenly on top of each other. The building will house 360 luxury condo residences and 205 hotel guest rooms. Condo units at the building are priced starting at $2 million. Already, roughly87 percent of the condo space has been sold, the developer said. Just the most expensive top-floor cubes, with prices starting at $10 million, are still available on the market.
As per the WSJ, the difficulty of building a super-tower (defined as over 984 feet) in Miami or near sea level, is that they must dig the foundation very deep — past the porous limestone and water table to reach the stable rock beneath. The area is also notorious for fierce hurricanes. No one yet has succeeded to build such a tower in Miami. T
he Waldorf Tower will have Miami’s first tuned mass damper– which is a pendulum-like device installed on top of the building to keep the tower from swaying. The construction will also require specialized technology, known as deep soil mixing, to strengthen the foundation on which it is laid, allowing less vibrations to pass to the nearby buildings during the construction process. “Where other buildings might have taken four months of foundation, it’s going to take us a year to get all that structure underground just to support this building,” said Kevin Maloney, PMG’s chief executive.
Mr. Maloney told the WSJ that the building’s floor plates will be extra heavy to keep it stable– each around 20,000 square feet, compared with PMG’s recent 84-story tower built in Manhattan’s West 57th street, where floor plates are only about 5,000 square feet. “The building code in Miami is the strictest in the country, and that’s true about 1,000-foot towers or eight-story towers,” said Ryan Shear, Managing Partner of PMG. “There’s not a city I feel safer in than Miami in terms of hurricane code.”
Additionally, the developers said, they had to work several years to secure special permission from Miami International Airport, since the building will be blocking their flight path.
When asked about the current economic conditions for building such a super-tower, Mr. Maloney, responded to the WSJ saying that by the time the building is completed, the market will be in a totally different economic state. “There’s no question the economy is in a dark place and financing is difficult, but you have to understand also that it’s going to take all of 48 to probably 55 months to build this thing,” he said.