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SkyRise, Mayor produce ad that mostly ignores tower


With just weeks to go before Miami voters consider a longterm Bayside Marketplace lease extension and the construction of a 1,000-foot tower on Biscayne Bay, Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado and the developer of SkyRise Miami have teamed up to promote the referendum.

Except, the 30-second radio spot they've put together barely mentions the tower.

"Miami voters: I'm Tomás Regalado," the mayor says in the Spanish-language ad. "On this ballot, we have an important question: improve the Bayside mall with private funds and construct a new building. This means more rent and an advanced payment of $10 million for the city of Miami. Taxpayers win without putting in a cent."

The "new building" is SkyRise, which developer Jeff Berkowitz plans to build behind Bayside with $400 million in private funds and equip with theme park-style rides. Berkowitz Development Group created Friends of Bayside Marketplace, the political action committee that produced the advertisement, and Skyrise Miami pumped $50,000 into its coffers.

Asked why SkyRise was barely mentioned in the radio spot, Regalado said he had to cut parts of the script to save time, so he focused on the benefits to the city and the well-known Bayside as selling points.
"It was 30 seconds and how can you explain [everything]?" he said. "That’s the problem with radio ads."
Berkowitz, who provided a copy of the ad to The Herald, noted that the question on the Aug. 26 ballot clearly references and describes SkyRise.