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Residents wary about 630-foot tower to be built near Overtown

Three-sided building to consist of gigantic display walls that carry animated advertising

At Northwest 10th Street and First Avenue near Miami's Overtown neighborhood, you'll find a couple of rundown buildings, but if a developer has his way, you'll soon see a high-rise that some say will be unlike any other.

MIAMI – At Northwest 10th Street and First Avenue near Miami's Overtown neighborhood, you'll find a couple of rundown buildings, but if a developer has his way, you'll soon see a high-rise that some say will be unlike any other.

In the plans, the Miami Innovation Tower is described as an icon for the city -- a kinetic sculpture. 

"It's got an interplay of lights, of imagery. It's really going to sell Miami," the developer's attorney, Tony Recio said.

The tower, expected to rise above 630 feet, will be a communications focal point, as the three-sided building will have gigantic display walls that carry animated advertising.

"People across the board, whether you're for development, against development, are galvanizing against (it)," concerned resident Bradley Knoefler said.

Residents crowded the room of a recent meeting on the issue, hoping to get a chance to address concerns.

But the Southeast Overtown-Park West Community Redevelopment Agency, that was supposed to decide whether to give the project the OK, instead decided to defer the issue.

"This needs to be vetted publicly," Knowfler said. "We need to have transparency and a true public participation."

Michael Simkins, the developer behind the project, wouldn't go on camera, but his attorney told Local 10 News that they're aware of the concerns.

"I think that has more to do with not knowing enough about what this is about," Recio said.

A spokesman for Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado confirms to Local 10 News that the mayor only learned of the project when he read the newspaper. Now he's trying to figure out what to do to make sure this is done right.

The redevelopment agency will decide how to move forward with the project on June 29. Until then, several meetings are expected to be held where the public weighs in on the project.

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