Cash-Strapped Miami Approves 500-Foot Tall Billboards

Miami is about to get a taste of Times Square, now that the city’s commissioners have given their okay to a plan that would erect a pair of towering electronic signs.

Even though the project faced vehement opposition from some residents, the commissioners still voted 4-1 to approve the billboards, which would reach nearly 500 feet into the Miami sky.

The reason? Money. The billboards will provide the city with at least $2 million a year in fees.

In addition to the advertising towers, developers are planning a parking garage and a retail center in the area.

Miami Commission approves skyscraper-size billboards [Miami Herald]


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  1. smo0 says:

    Munnay munnay munnnnaaay, MUNNAAAAY.

  2. MustWarnOthers says:

    Not the exact Banksy quote, but it applies completely as related to this article:

    “The people who run our cities dont understand graffiti because they think nothing has the right to exist unless it makes a profit.

    The people who truly deface our neighborhoods are the companies that scrawl giant slogans across buildings and buses trying to make us feel inadequate unless we buy their stuff.

    Any advertisement in public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours, it belongs to you. It’s yours to take, rearrange and re use.Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head”

    • rdclark says:

      This is an easy position to take for people who aren’t in a position of dealing with the imminent bankruptcy of many of our great cities.

      It’s easy to say “no.” It’s harder to come up with plans to raise hundreds of millions of dollars (or to cut city budgets by as much). Even harder when no plan can generate majority support among local populations or city coucils.

      What hurts quality of life more? Obnoxious billboards, or higher taxes, or reductions in essential services like police and fire departments?

      • Jerkface says:

        I’m not sure that was the whole point. There are ways ads and graffiti could co-exist.

      • Poisson Process says:

        We could end these bogus wars that aren’t making us safer and save gazillions.

        • Conformist138 says:

          What is it that we’re doing? Like, aren’t we giving Pakistan aide… and Pakistan is giving money to the Taliban in Afghanistan… The Taliban is using that money to fight us… and we’re spending money to fight them.

          So, it’s the US vs the US. Seems to me that might be the plan to get those hundreds of millions.

          Now, if you will excuse me, this can of spray paint and I have a date in Miami.

  3. pantheonoutcast says:

    And yet another of the 1980’s Sci-Fi writers’ prophecies come to pass…

    • Chris Morran says:

      it does look a bit like Blade Runner filtered through The Birdcage…

      • DarthCoven says:

        Ladies and gentlemen, this is the first and last time you will ever see those two movies together in the same sentence.

        • Chris Morran says:

          that sounds like a challenge

          • Cameraman says:

            Off to film a gritty, distopian remake of The Birdcage, only set in the future, Nathan Lane’s character is actually a Replicant. A gay Replicant. Made by Apple. Robin Williams’ character is a gay Replicant manufactured by Microsoft.

            The big twist at the end is that the Senator character is actually a Replicant himself, running Linux.

          • DarthCoven says:

            Consider it a plea for sanity.

      • harryhoody says:

        I see a new meme of Bladerunner/Birdcage mashups.

    • zandar says:

      what is 500 ft. advertising is all about? Getting the message in your head. See it often enough, your favorite memory of Miami might be the 500 ft. Blue Man group ad.

      So why not eliminate the middleman, as it were? just inject the damn things right into our thoughts and be done with it.

  4. fsnuffer says:

    Wonder how those will hold up during a hurricane

  5. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    As if I needed another reason not to move to Florida.

  6. Gruppa says:

    Have fun with that Miami. We just got rid of the 500ft tall ipod and movie posters draped over the side of buildings here in Hollywoodland.

  7. ArcanaJ says:

    And all the Photoshopped people lived happily ever after in their towering billboard forest. The end.

  8. wrongfrequently says:

    meanwhile here in NorCal Toyota “sponsored” a flower Prius billboard

    “”Marin County has had a ban against billboard advertising since the 1970’s,” noted Franks. And the flowers, which depict a car that resembles a Prius, crossing a bridge that resembles the Golden Gate, are sponsored by Toyota.”

    • DingoAndTheBaby says:

      Jeebus…leave it to Marin County. Technically it’s not a billboard, and generally you’d think Marin-ites would be pro-Prius. But, since it’s now cool to jump on the anti-Toyota bandwagon, of course Marin will be in on the Toyota bashing. So typical of that area. It makes me sad that I’m from there.

      • wrongfrequently says:

        In our defense (as a Marinite) It’s hideously ugly and the flowers are non-native (read= extra water needed) AND Toyota put it up right after the big recalls were announced.

        • wrongfrequently says:

          The super Marin stuff that’s been going on of late that I DO hate is the attempt to ban ice-cream trucks from parking w/i 1500 ft of the High School b/c apparently Marin kids just can’t control themselves and might get fat. It’s been all the rage in the letters to the editor in the IJ.

          ALSO now I’m filled with intense curiosity about the possibility that I know you, which is silly b/c Marin ain’t so small…

          • DingoAndTheBaby says:

            *sigh* Again with the lack of personal accountability. Except that’s not limited to Marin county – that’s a USA-wide pandemic.

            As for the non-native flowers, I can see the burden of the extra water, but if Toyota’s paying for it, I don’t get the big deal, unless it leads to water rationing for everyone else.

            And, I’ve not lived in either Marin or Sonoma counties for a while. So the chance that we know each other are minimal. :-)

      • nybiker says:

        And I agree that it’s not a billboard per se. But why dig up the dirt and all? If you’re willing to donate for the Adopt-A-Highway sign, then just contribute to the fund and you get your sign. Bette Midler has an AAH sign on the LIE or GCP here in NYC and we don’t have her singing on the side of the road.
        I always thought that AAH was about keeping the road clean, not gussying up the dirt around it.

        As to Miami getting in on the act of tall billboards, Times Square doesn’t have 500-ft tall free-standing billboards. We put ’em on the side of the skyscrapers. Amazing what one can do with tall buildings.

        And I’d rather walk under a ladder on Friday the 13th than be in the area of those Miami signs during any storm. Lyric-wise, I’m going with Blowin’ In The Wind.

  9. Bearcat44 says:

    Watch out for the 500-foot Dan Le Batard billboard!

  10. Jerkface says:

    Makes me think of Treehouse of Horror VI.

  11. DoktorGoku says:

    Wow… and here I just moved from Miami…

  12. fsnuffer says:

    Alrighty then, lets start the suggestion thread for what we could put up there to drive people nuts. Sarah Palin, Akmadinnerjacket, …… ?

  13. Zach, your favorite liberal Texan politics-and-news junkie/Doctor Who super-fan says:

    For the metrically-inclined, the billboards are about 150 m tall. :)

  14. Torgonius wants an edit button says:

    Go for what they have in Atlantic City

  15. aboxoflogic says:

    Oh right, because the tourism doesn’t pay the salary of the $250K/yr Miami Beach police officers? Because Miami hasn’t had a non-felon elected official in years? Right. Of course.

  16. J Quillenthorpe Lopp says:

    500 ft seems a bit much all in one chunk .. perhaps cut them down to size, say, 125 ft ea., discount original planned costs for reduced size, yet only moderately and round it out (upwards), that way w/ 4 signs out of ea. one the city should be able to make even more loot that way!

  17. lawgirl502 says:

    WHAT? You mean the Kardashians haven’t increased Miami’s economy?

  18. Cyniconvention says:

    I can imagine a couple of group windsurfing efforts should the need ever arise. 20 people to one billboard.

  19. Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

    2 million in revenue for 2 billboards…wow….they may use my backyard if they like as long as I get a percentage.

  20. Nick says:

    Taking advantage of the only beautiful thing in Florida – the sky.

  21. jo3lr0ck5 says:

    I really want to know if people really think that billboards are effective ways to advertise anything other than sa special event, those are the only ones that I pay attention to especially here in Miami…I see the Coca Cola, Brahma, and I just think what a waste of money…I think we are over advertising as a society I have not seen a commercial that would push me to buy anything or at least introduce a new brand to me; wait I lie I would buy Old Spice stuff so they can keep doing their hilarious commercials but not because I want their products.

  22. suburbancowboy says:

    Here is a great article from harper’s magazine in 1950 on why Billboards should not exist:

  23. AllanG54 says:

    Down there could be anybody’s guess what language they’ll be in….English, Spanish, Creole.