At planned Sunny Isles Beach condo, cars and drivers ride elevator home

The latest twist on designer parking garages: a Jetsonesque elevator that whisks residents to their condos while they are still in the drivers seat.
porsche6.jpgPull over into the designated space. Turn off the engine. And enjoy the oceanfront view as you escalate in a glass elevator that takes you, while you are sitting in your car, to the front door of your apartment.

No, this is not the latest Disney ride.

The $560 million Jetsonesque tower will rise in Sunny Isles Beach as part of a collaboration between Germany-based Porsche Design Group and a local developer, Gil Dezer. It likely will be the worlds first condominium complex with elevators that will take residents directly to their units while they are sitting in their cars.

You dont have to leave your car until you are in front of your apartment, said Juergen Gessler, CEO of Porsche Design Group.

Here is how it will work: After the resident pulls over and switches off the engine, a robotic arm that works much like an automatic plank will scoop up the car and put it into the elevator. Once at the desired floor, the same robotic arm will park the car, leaving the resident nearly in front of his front door. Voila, home!

The glass elevators will give residents and their guests unparalleled views of the city or of the ocean during their high-speed ride, expected to last 45 to 90 seconds.

What this is really doing is taking two technologies that have existed for centuries and putting them together, said Gil Dezer, president of Dezer Properties. Its taking the robotic arm and its putting it in an elevator.

The building, to named Porsche Design Tower, was approved unanimously Thursday night by the Sunny Isles Beach City Commission. Before the meeting, Mayor Norman S. Edelcup said he had not heard any opposition to the plan.

The cylindrical building will be erected on 2.2 acres of land at 18555 Collins Avenue. The 57-story luxury tower will have 132 units. Smaller units will be allocated two parking spaces and larger ones will have four, with 284 robotic parking spaces in total. There will be three elevators.

Residents will be able to see their cars from their living rooms.

So people with fancy cars and antiques, they will actually have a really nice view of them, Dezer said.

Units will range from 3,800 to 9,500 square feet and could cost up to $9 million.

The car elevators are the latest twist on Miami Beachs burgeoning passion for designer parking garages. The highly acclaimed 1111 Lincoln Road designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron opened in 2009; also planned are garages by London architect Zaha Hadid, Mexicos Enrique Norten and Miamis own Arquitechonica.

Dezer said his hopes are that many other buildings in the United States and the rest of the world will be constructed following the Porsche Design Tower model.

But this will be the first and last one in South Florida, he said.

We want to keep this really exclusive and not have this become a McDonalds kind of style. The tower is going to change the skyline of Miami Beach, Dezer said. This is something Floridians should be proud to have in their state.
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