x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

A car at your door, even on the 50th floor

The Life: A Miami development aspires to be the Porsche of apartment towers, complete with personal car lifts

The developers of a US$650 million (Dh2.38bn), 57-storey apartment tower in Miami propose to eliminate the chore of parking your car at home.

The project, co-designed by Porsche Design Group, will include lifts to deliver residents' cars directly to their apartments. A robotic arm will place each car in a glass elevator that will transport the vehicle to the doorstep of the apartment in 45 to 90 seconds.

"You don't have to leave your car until you are in front of your apartment," Juergen Gessler, the chief executive of Porsche Design Group, told The Miami Herald.

Car elevators in apartment towers are not a new concept. Different forms of the lifts periodically pop up in designs but rarely advance to construction once the builders examine the costs and relatively minor benefits. The concept, described as "Jetsonesque" by The Herald, sounds cool, but it doesn't hold up to closer inspection. Flat owners are not always keen on having their smelly vehicles close at hand. Living in a tower means getting away from the garage, not bringing the garage to your doorstep.

But Miami appears to have an infatuation with parking garages.

The lift is part of the integrated design of the Miami tower, which will carry the Porsche brand. And the developers are clearly hoping to create a posh vibe for the tower.

Porsche Design Group is a subsidiary of the German car maker and was originally established in 1972 to develop sleek products under the Porsche brand - items including watches, glasses, luggage and bicycles.

The Porsche Design Tower will cover 2.2 acres in Sunny Isles Beach, a Miami suburb on Collins Avenue, the main coastal road that stretches north from trendy Miami Beach. The tower will include 132 apartments and 284 parking spaces served by three elevators.

While these types of designs tend to pop up and disappear, especially in Miami, this project appears to be moving forward. The plan was approved by the Sunny Isles Beach City Commission last month.

"We want to keep this really exclusive and not have this become a McDonald's kind of style," developer Gil Dezer told local reporters. "This is something Floridians should be proud to have in their state."