Miami To Get America’s Largest Mall?
Miami, Florida, also known as the ‘Magic City’, is known for South Beach, the Design District, the Miami Heat, Brickell, the University of Miami, high end clubs, music week, and the world’s largest mall? The last one isn’t a reality yet, but Triple Five Group, the company that owns and manages some of North America’s largest shopping centers, including The Mall of America, is looking to change that. The Miami Harold was the first to report on the topic on March 5, and if what is proposed is approved, Triple Five has big plans for the city.
The mall would be named ‘The American Dream Miami’ and would lie on approximately 200-acres in northwestern Miami-Dade at the intersection of two of Miami’s busiest highways, Florida’s Turnpike and Interstate 75, near the Miami Lakes. It could cost as much as $4 billion to build and once opened it would employ more than 25,000 people, making it the largest private-sector payroll. While the official size of the project hasn’t yet been released, it is expected to be larger than the Mall of America, which is 4.2 million sq.-ft., has 520 stores and 50 restaurants. Along with an approximate 800 stores, the new American Dream Miami would include a sea-lion show, an indoor ski slope, submarine rides, miniature golf, a water park, skating rink, indoor gardens, bowling, a Ferris Wheel, movie theatres, roller coasters, hotels, and condominiums. Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez states that he believes the project will provide a boost to the county’s economy.
While many are excited about the prospect of this mall, others are praying the proposal is rejected when it goes before the county commission on March 17. Those opposed are concerned about the extra traffic the mall will cause on the already congested highway and also argue that while it might add 25,000 jobs, these are low paying unskilled jobs, therefore not really helping as many people as they are suggesting. Miami is already home to America’s 3rd and 7th largest malls, so the main question is, does it really need number one as well? Another concern is that there are already new retail developments being built downtown and in the design district, so how many people does there need to be to shop at all of these places?
The developers don’t necessarily expect locals to be the ones visiting the American Dream Miami, instead they expect visitors, especially Latin Americans, to stop by or extend their vacation to visit the gigantic mall. Dennis Speigel believes this area is perfect for this project because the county lacks an entertainment complex of this magnitude. While the plan is ambitious, similar ideas have been rejected by Miami’s city council; therefore, Triple Five still has many hoops to jump though before this American Dream becomes a reality.