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By Rob Wile, miamiherald.com
Jetson family, take note: One Miami developer is now preparing for flying cars.
Dan Kodsi, CEO of Royal Palms Companies and developer of the Paramount Miami Worldcenter complex downtown, says he is retrofitting the Paramount’s roof for a future that includes airborne personal transportation.
“It’s not a question of if, but when,” Kodsi said.
The roof of the 60-story condo is being encased entirely in glass. Upon completion, it will serve as an observation deck for residents. When the flying-car future arrives, the rooftop will be outfitted with a landing pad, and the observation deck will become a sky lobby for coming and going commuters on the wing. The building is slated to open next spring.
“Imagine traveling from Miami to Palm Beach — a drive that takes the better part of two hours — in about 30 minutes,” Kodsi said in a statement. “That stop-and-go traffic to the suburbs could become a burden of the past for PARAMOUNT residents.”
Kodsi said he was inspired by Uber’s Elevate project, which envisions a future filled with on-demand aviation. The ride-sharing company plans to launch vertical takeoff and landing, or VTOL, vehicles in Los Angeles and Dallas in the next five years.
Only current U.S. laws and regulations prevent the technology from being fully deployed at the moment, Kodsi said. VTOL technology has already been tested in Dubai, and Google co-founder Larry Page is currently developing flying taxis in New Zealand.
“All of this could exist [in the U.S.] tomorrow morning,” Kodsi said.
And what of a future addressing sea level rise? In an email, Kodsi said the Paramount wouldn’t be affected, at least not anytime soon.
“Even if [the] sea rises seven feet we would not be affected,” he said. “In all estimates that wouldn’t happen for over 100 to possibly 200 years if at all – so not a concern for us.”