Miami Welcomes Times Square – City Approves Electronic Billboards With 5-0 Vote

July 22, 2010 by Lucas Lechuga

Looks like Miami will continue to be the “Bright Lights, Big City” of the South.  The Miami City Commission, earlier today, approved a change in a zoning ordinance which would allow developer Marc Siffin to erect a pair of electronic billboards atop an eight-story parking garage next to the Adrienne Arsht Center which is located in the Arts + Entertainment District of Miami.  According to the Miami Herald’s report, Siffin will pay an annual permitting fee of $2.2M to the city and has agreed to contribute $8M toward the construction of Museum Park as part of a concession package.

Miami Electronic billboards

Miami electronic billboards

Miami electronic billboards

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62 Comments on "Miami Welcomes Times Square – City Approves Electronic Billboards With 5-0 Vote"


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Anonymous
Rod
6 years 2 months ago

Hopefully they are never built. They are illegal on county, state and federal grounds. Another sweetheart deal rammed down the citizens throat with little planning (except by the developers lawyers who drafted the new ordnance) and allowance for public input. People of Miami should be outraged!!! These things will be 40 stories tall. Sucks if you had a view from one of the many condos on the venetian or near the Artsht.

Anonymous
mishka
6 years 2 months ago

I like the idea. Arts Center will be transformed into a flashy Times Square. It is exciting. Move over New York & Vegas, here comes Miami.

Anonymous
scrivener
6 years 2 months ago
Oh yeah! Great plan! I love it! Can someone tell me where I can purchase a derivative security on these? I want to short them – – big time – – – because the first category 1 hurricane that comes through is going to take those signs with it. I feel sorry for the folks that bought into condos in that area because – – and this is just me – – I would hate to have the view from my place obstructed by one of these signs. Another concern for these folks should be the tremendous light being projected… Read more »
Anonymous
Drew
6 years 2 months ago

Agree w/ Rod. These towers are going to look ridiculous and will be a major eyesore to local residents. And the fact that the City has disregarded superseding law is mind-boggling.

This new mayor Regalado is a joke. How can Miami expect to attain prominence with a 63-yr old mayor that barely speaks English and has the personality of a fish.

Anonymous
Wild Bill
6 years 2 months ago
I which Miami would follow California and tried to remove all the super banners from buildings. California used the fire code to remove some of the super banners. Miami is taking a step in the wrong direction. They should have gone with historical sign restrictions like the City of Miami Beach follows. One more reason not to invest in the lawless area of Downtown Miami. Miami is attempting to follow through on this vision. http://www.miami-miamibeach.com/docs/Miami.pdf Foreigners should Google map the downtown area and bring up the a street view. They will laugh at what the proposed drawing and actual area… Read more »
Anonymous
Gixxer 1000
6 years 2 months ago

Youtube like to a video of the proposed project:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_qIfc-ENYE&feature=player_embedded

Anonymous
Gixxer 1000
6 years 2 months ago

“These things will be 40 stories tall. Sucks if you had a view from one of the many condos on the venetian or near the Artsht.”

What exactly would is be blocking a view of? Look on a map where it’s located. It doesn’t block any ocean views. And if you have a city view now you have a times square like view instead of a empty lot view.

Here is a picture showing a view from the north plus the light emitted from the project as compared to other downtown projects.

Anonymous
Skeeta
6 years 2 months ago
Tacky! Miami’s vision and what developers end up building is unfortunately so very different it leaves me with a sick feeling in my stomach! Greed and corruption is first on the mind of these developers and they have very little, or no vision for a livable city. For example look at the edifices on Biscayne Blvd. They have no street presence and never will. They know how to draw a pretty city they just don’t know how to build one! These 40 story electronic billboards are just another example of city leaders who don’t have a clue and greedy businessmen… Read more »
Anonymous
Jason
6 years 2 months ago

It is a horrible idea. I live near several of this type of sign, in my unnamed city, and nothing short of blackout shades prevents these images from flashing on my ceilings. I live in a $2 million dollar home in a “fancy building.”

I pity the poor neighbors who must live with these eyesores. Oh, and flashing lights do not make a city NY or Las Vegas.

Anonymous
Drew
6 years 2 months ago

Of course Gixxer would take the contrarian view.

And only an idiot would post a bullsh*t picture prepared by the project developer or developer’s consultants that purportedly downplays the emitted light. Like a fake photo or a fake video can accurately depict how these billboards will actually appear.

And the issue is not necessarily the brightness of the lights, its the content. People don’t mind a lit-up skyscraper; but they do mind a giant, garish sign advertising Club Space or a Mamma Mia show.

Anonymous
AZ88
6 years 2 months ago

Terrible idea.

I wonder how much input they got from condo owners in the area? Zero sounds about right.

Anonymous
Gixxer 1000
6 years 2 months ago
And of course the people who predict doom for Miami would not like this project. It’s like they would rather see Miami fail just so there gloomy predictions come true. And actually there was a lot of input from condo owners. Here is the video from the meeting: http://miami.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=309 Around the 4 hr mark is where you start to here people giving remarks. There are plenty of people for and against the project. Many people living in the area came out to voice there opinion in support. Siffin has also held many additional meetings with the community residents as described… Read more »
Anonymous
Joe
6 years 2 months ago

How long before Gixxer 1000 and Makes Me Think claim these eyesore monstrosities will cause condo prices to RISE?

3 … 2… 1 …

Anonymous
Drew
6 years 2 months ago

What are the “ridiculous statements” and the “ridiculous claims”? From an aesthetic perspective, its terrible. From a legal perspective, it violates existing county, state and federal law. This story has been covered at length in the Miami Herald and I’m certain many readers here have received their information from that source, not Lucas’ quip. So I think most people know what they are talking about.

Anonymous
Gixxer 1000
6 years 2 months ago
Joe, This is what I’m talking about. Again there are both people who advocate for and against this project. I just find it odd that people that want/think real estate price will decline refer to it as a two “eyesore monstrosities”. But if you actually went to or watched the meeting you would have seen that it has overwhelming support of the people who actually live in the area. And yes I think it will help the condo prices in the area rise. Right now the area is a run down lot that attracts the homeless and crime. You really… Read more »
Anonymous
Constance
6 years 2 months ago

I went to one of the public hearings. Most were supportive. I do not know who these people on this blog are and what authority they have to criticize. Most locals in the OMNI area support these towers. As such their view matters the most. Everyone else can have an opinion but they are irrelevant. I have one thing to say to all these people crying tears for me as how they would throw glare through my condo or block my “view” and any other imaginary nightmare. Just LAY OFF!

Anonymous
Gixxer 1000
6 years 2 months ago
Drew, I was mainly referring to AZ88’s comment that there was zero input from condo owners when even the Miami Herald reported that there was. And you can look at the meeting and hear people from the community making remarks about contact with the developers at these meetings. You say from an aesthetic perspective it’s terrible. This is your opinion. Clearly people think otherwise. You’re never going to please everyone. As far as it violating laws that a pretty ridiculous argument considering they are revising the laws. That like saying you can’t end segregation because it would violate laws. No… Read more »
Anonymous
Gixxer 1000
6 years 2 months ago

Constance,

Exactly! The people who live in the area and have a stake in this had a chance to go in and speak their mind and they did in overwhelming support for the project. Which led to a unanimous decision.

Anonymous
Makes Me Think
6 years 2 months ago
Got me wrong on this one joe, I’m more for the understated elegance of the place. Leave the bright light and flashing neon to Vegas and times square. Miami has natural beauty those other cities don’t. for the record, I don’t make claims about condo prices rising. I have simply stated that last spring was a good time to buy and that I wouldn’t be surprise if there is another bubble in 12 years. I still believe Condo’s in general are terrible investments. I also believe Miami/South Florida in general are unique real estate markets much like southern Cal, SF… Read more »
Anonymous
Gixxer 1000
6 years 2 months ago

Media mesh on a smaller scale at AA Arena:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHtkBNvLTnU&feature=player_embedded

Anonymous
900 club
6 years 2 months ago
Speaking of eyesore monstrosities – how about an aircraft carrier parked next to the AA arena? This city will never fail to amaze me. I am renting at 900 and the last thing I want is a hulking grey mass of a warship below my balcony. Granted, this is from 2008 so it’s not likely to come to fruition. How come we don’t hear about people in Marina Blue complaining about the large screen pasted onto the AA arena? Is this a botheration? I guess now that LeBron and Bosh are in town, people don’t mind so much… http://www.roadsideamerica.com/news/17259 Biggest… Read more »
Anonymous
Drew
6 years 2 months ago
Gixxer I guess you don’t find it odd that the developer was able to rewrite the city ordinance and design the permitting process, nor find it curious that the city has disregarded other laws regarding signage adjacent to interstates. Just because a limited # of residents show up at a meeting and express their approval does not mean that due process can be ignored. Nice one comparing signage laws to segregation laws. That makes sense, genius. Let’s hold these state/fed signage laws unconstitutional or revise a fed law simply because a greedy developer and the City of Miami wants to… Read more »
Anonymous
Constance
6 years 2 months ago
The best similarities can be the Media mesh on AAA. It is beautiful aesthetic and eye catching. It has not adversely affected anything about the AAA or its surrounding environs. I have not heard a single complaint about that LED mesh mural. Let me ask you people on this blog. Do any one of you live in Marina Blue on the 25th floor to below? As this building is right smack opposite the AAA, can anyone living in those lower floors tell me that you are actually bothered by the flashing message board or that your quality of life is… Read more »
Anonymous
Gixxer 1000
6 years 2 months ago
Drew, Well I’m actually a resident now, not that it makes a difference. And no I don’t find it odd that the ordinance had to be rewritten considering this is a new type of technology and therefore old rules don’t make sense. The thing you are leaving out of you’re argument it what was the benefit for the original regulations. And regardless who wrote the regulations the city is approving them. And if you would have been at the meeting or at least watched it you would see that the city put in amendments that benefit the city. First the… Read more »
Anonymous
Gixxer 1000
6 years 2 months ago

Actually I misspoke. It’s $2.28m per year and $800k towards the Museum Park operating fund.

Anonymous
Joe
6 years 2 months ago

Gixxer 1000 — At 1:49 p.m., you said there were “plenty of people for and against the project.”

Then, at 3:14 p.m., you said the project has the “overwhelming support of the people” who live in the area.

Um, which one is true?

——

Also, I’m calling B.S. on Gixxer 1000’s constant claims of being accepted to a bunch of big-time grad schools. This guy doesn’t know the difference between “your” and “you’re” or “they’re” and “there.” If grammar and spelling like that can get one into big-time grad schools these days, this country is doomed.

Anonymous
Joe
6 years 2 months ago

Gixxer 1000 said: “Let’s say the city is not being transparent and they are cutting a back room deal to get this project done quicker. Yes that would be wrong. But in the end who cares?”

— Boy, with an attitude like that, you’ll be right at home in Miami. Wow.

Anonymous
Drew
6 years 2 months ago
Thank you Joe. Nor do I believe any of these personal claims from a wannabe urban planner. He’s full of crap. “Let’s say the city is not being transparent and they are cutting a back room deal to get this project done quicker. Yes that would be wrong. But in the end who cares?” How can you intelligently argue with a guy who makes statements like that? When your argument has no basis in law, then you can justify anything. By the way, “in the end,” a judge would probably care. My God you’re a moron. Or, as you would… Read more »
Anonymous
Constance
6 years 2 months ago
Gixxer is very correct when he said “overwhelming support of the people who live in the area.” In the public meeting and on the sidelines of the meeting they had in the Arsht center, 9 out of 10 residents of OMNI who live in the shadow of this project overwhelmingly supported this project. Only Barbara of Venetia building and some pony tailed gentleman by the name Rich who actually lives a mile north in Edgewater are the only vocal opponents. People could not believe how unreasonable they sounded. But in the end no one paid them any attention. All I… Read more »
Anonymous
JL
6 years 2 months ago
I highly doubt that more than 0.1% of the people in the area even knew about this meeting. Regardless, this is NOT a strictly OMNI area issue. Nobody would care if these electric billboards were street level ala Times Square and American Airlines Arena. If that were the case, then it would be a 100% OMNI issue. However, the reason “outsiders” care is that these structures will intrude majorly into the overall Miami skyline. One of the great night-time views in Miami(Beach) is looking over the Bay into the city at night and seeing the IM Pei BOFA tower (especially… Read more »
Anonymous
BillP
6 years 2 months ago

I am glad to learn that residents in the immediate area support the project. They are the ones who have to live with the monstrosities. Ask them in a year how they feel.

Anonymous
Denise
6 years 2 months ago
Most of the people leaving these blogs are embarrassing themselves by their misinformed comments. If they took the time to go to one of the presentations like I did since I live in the area around the PAC, they’d realize the towers have little to do with “flashy ads” and EVERYTHING to do with the internet and the digital age. They’re about content, not commercials, so we’ll be able to interact on our blackberries and i phones with the info on the screen.TOO COOL. The light also won’t even reach any of our buildings since LED gives off less foot… Read more »
Anonymous
Joe
6 years 2 months ago

So these two monstrosities are going to single-handedly eliminate the homeless problem? Wow.

Anonymous
JL
6 years 2 months ago

Wow,

Thanks Denise, hopefully you can tell the person that made this marketing piece that the rendered ads are all wrong. I didn’t realize the video was a fake. Thanks for the clarification.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_qIfc-ENYE

Anonymous
Drew
6 years 2 months ago
Anonymous
scrivener
6 years 2 months ago
Drew: Thanks for posting the article. I particularly enjoyed the first line. ” …. [i]t’s easy to be queasy …” One of the troubling aspects of this project is that it will require a lot of electricity to operate these billboards. The power demands alone should have raised a red flag for the city – – particularly in a political environment where the party in power stresses the importance of “going green.” Granted the city appears to have jumped on the project because the developer is shelling out a big number in exchange for approval: “… annual permitting fee of… Read more »
Anonymous
Gixxer 1000
6 years 2 months ago
Joe, How do those two statements contradict each other. There are plenty of people for and against this project but when you look at people who actually live in the area most seem to support it. As far as where I was accepted to school why does that even matter? If my logic is wrong simply point out where it’s wrong. How does where I go to school play into this? It was mentioned because at the time I was excited about going to school and I explained that my excitement for UM was a big reason in selecting UM… Read more »
Anonymous
Gixxer 1000
6 years 2 months ago
scriv, What in the world are you talking about. This is a PRIVATELY owned garage. The PRIVATE owner will be required to operate and pay for the necessary electricity to run the media towers. I swear sometime the people here have no clue. The owner of these media towers will receive MILLIONS of dollars of ad revenue. From that revenue they will have to pay a fee of $2.28m to the city as a fee to run the towers. I don’t know why people keep acting like this is some sort of public project. This is privately owned land. The… Read more »
Anonymous
Wild Bill
6 years 2 months ago
The $2 million from the billboard permit fee can be renegotiated down to a few thousand dollars once the center opens. I expect the owners will request a renegotiation of the permit fees within two years of opening. The billboard companies can actually charge the city if their billboards get blocked by sound walls or trees. They have the best zoning rules in the world. They also have the best lawyers. In a few years they might only have to pay $9.99 in permit fees. Some other South Florida failures and budget mistakes: Biltmore Hotel. Seaway Corp., which has operated… Read more »
Anonymous
JL
6 years 2 months ago
What unbiased source says people in the area suport this thing? I think what happened is you had the developer and city officials -who want to ram this through- call a quick meeting and stuffed it with a handful of supporters. Wait till this story gets more widespread and you’ll see what residents really think. ————————————– From the Miami Herald Board: Replying to arjunreddy1 (07/25/2010 03:17:49 PM): “Most naysayers sound so ignorant. Do not feel bad for the residents. overwhelming number of residents who live in the shadow of this project approve this. If OMNI residents have no objection, who… Read more »
Anonymous
Joe
6 years 2 months ago

Wild Bill — Exactly right. Anyone who thinks these guys will be writing checks for $2.2 million per year in perpetuity obviously isn’t familiar with Miami.

Anonymous
Gixxer 1000
6 years 2 months ago
Again the people here are completely clueless. The Biltmore Hotel is owned by the city. Again this is private land. Also the Seaway corp has agreed to a repayment plan to repay tax payers: http://www.hotel-online.com/News/PR2010_3rd/Jul10_BiltmoreCoralGables.html Jungle Island asked for subsidy that would have to be repaid. This is complete nonsense. Were talking about a permit fee to operate media towers that will generate millions of dollars per year. Pay $2.28m to collect $50 million in ad revenue or don’t pay the permit fee and collect nothing. Seems like an obvious choice. If you knew anything about the project you would… Read more »
Anonymous
Joe
6 years 2 months ago

Let’s see … Locals who know how Miami operates express concern about the deal, while Gixxer 1000, who has been in Miami for about 7 minutes, says the locals are “completely clueless.”

Does your luxury rental have any mirrors, Gixxer 1000?

Anonymous
scrivener
6 years 2 months ago

Gixx:

It is private for now. But is it sustainable?

scriv

Anonymous
Drew
6 years 2 months ago

Joe- Can’t you see how Gixxer operates?
As a non-resident (or, as he claims, a recent resident), he has very little to zero knowledge of current local events, whether it be sports, politics, law, business, etc. When a topic comes up, he maniacally scours the Internet for information (with little regard for source credibility) and then quickly positions his counterpoint based off his hastily acquired research…and he’s done it over and over and over…

Anonymous
Gixxer 1000
6 years 2 months ago
And this differs to how you guys operate how??? Are you telling me that you guys were actually at these meetings. At least I watched the actual meeting. Unless you’re an actual city council member or the developer the only thing you know about this project is what’s reported in the paper as well. You guys read the same articles, but instead focus on opinion pieces instead of credible facts and report the end of humanity which is basically regurgitating another persons ideological and political agenda. For the millionth time no one in this thread has addressed the real issues… Read more »
Anonymous
Gixxer 1000
6 years 2 months ago
scriv, What the heck do you mean it’s private for now?? That’s like saying Met 1 is private for now. When, why and how would it ever become public? And why are you asking if it’s sustainable? Please list one other private project downtown that is sustainable. It’s a parking garage not a museum. Private projects are built to make money not be sustainable. If being sustainable helps profitability then fine, but tell me which of the other private projects built in the last 10 years are sustainable. Again you keep confusing this project with some sort of public project.… Read more »
Anonymous
Wild Bill
6 years 2 months ago
Normal cities don’t cater to billboard companies. They don’t allow you to block up windows in buildings to create banner walls. They don’t allow you hang flammable graphics blocking windows. They don’t encourage billboards. They don’t allow you build blank concrete block walls on the edge of buildings to hang banners. The City of Miami is horrible. In the interest of safety the City of Miami doesn’t even adhere to basic life safety codes. How another city handles this. Businessman held on $1-million bail in supergraphic case http://articles.latimes.com/2010/feb/28/local/la-me-billboard28-2010feb28 ” The supergraphic covers many windows, making it difficult for firefighters to… Read more »
Anonymous
why bother
6 years 2 months ago
Gixxer, well said regarding #46 and #47. At least you take the time and research the information that you do not know unlike many who just post what they feel like. I always held Scrivs opinion in high regard as he seems to be very knowledgeable about titles , Deeds and other legal stuff. But I am scratching my head in disbelief at his ridiculous comments and even arguing how long this will be private etc. What has happened here? Why are rational people behaving like they are possessed? Wild Bill will be Wild Bill. No surprises there. But normally… Read more »
Anonymous
Joe
6 years 2 months ago
Gixxer 1000 — After you’ve lived in Miami for more than 7 minutes, you’ll learn you don’t need to be at the meetings. They’re all the same: Lip service about the “public good” and “huge benefits to the city,” blah blah blah, followed by a late-night, 2:00 a.m. vote in favor of the special interests, and then, a year or two later, after people’s attention has moved on to something else, a quick and quiet renegotiation of the original deal’s terms. THAT’s how Miami operates, and if you believe otherwise, I have a couple condo towers I’d like to give… Read more »
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