American Dream Miami mega-mall draws traffic concerns
Written by Gabi Maspons on September 12, 2017
Traffic In Miami-Dade and Broward counties is still a concern for the development of the American Dream Miami mega-mall in Northwest Miami-Dade County as meetings continue throughout the fall.
“It’s a little under two miles South of our county line, so we know it’s going to generate traffic impacts in Broward,” said Jo Sesodia, Broward County’s director of planning and development management.
The $4 billion project is to have millions of square feet of retail, an indoor ski slope, a water park, a walk-through aquarium, restaurants, a skating rink, theaters, a performing arts center, 2,000 hotel rooms and more. The 7.2-million-square-foot “retail-tainment” center would be completed in a single phase and open in 2023 if all goes according to plan.
Developer International Atlantic LLC, part of the Triple Five Group, predicts the mall will draw over 300,000 visitors daily.
“They say it will be an entertainment and leisure center that will rival Orlando, with over 70,000 cars each day,” Ms. Sesodia said.
The 194-acre space is at the Florida Turnpike and I-75, an already highly trafficked area.
Though the project would create about 15,000 permanent jobs, Triple Five estimates about 60% of the jobs would be low-paying, with salaries under $25,000 a year.
Ms. Sesodia said Broward has never explicitly objected to the project, but officials are worried about traffic congestion: “We’re concerned about the impacts on Broward County residents and we’re making sure there are significant projects to mitigate them,” she said.
At the most recent public meeting on Aug. 17, Broward presented the roadway and transit improvements it would like to see in the development improvement agreement, Ms. Sesodia said.
Ms. Sesodia identified three improvements Broward requested from the developers: a $28 million roadway extension to Miramar Parkway until US 27, the $1.1 million capital cost of an adaptive signal system on Miramar Parkway, and to design the on-site transit to include Broward.
The 194-acre space is now allocated for “industrial and office” buildings and would have to be re-zoned for “business and office” to allow for hotel, retail and entertainment.
The zoning hearings will continue through the fall and the agreement will be final toward the end of the year, said Jerry Bell, Miami-Dade’s assistant director of planning.
As for meeting dates and what’s next on the agenda, Mr. Bell said he didn’t have relevant information to contribute:
“I’m leery on giving exact dates,” he said. “They’re very large and complex applications and projects.”