Massive American Dream Mall under review microscope
The massive American Dream Mall project is currently a dream in the review process, with no set deadline on when it will move on to the next stage.
“Right now the reviewing agencies are still reviewing in their respective disciplines, and it’s moving forward through the standard zoning and comprehensive plan process,” said Nathan Kogon, assistant director for development services for Miami-Dade County.
Deadlines aren’t set for the project because it’s uncertain how long this stage will take.
“Really, what happens is we don’t set a timeline upfront,” Mr. Kogon said. “We go through the review, we continue to get all the comments from the reviewing agencies and we ask for additional documents, and then once all of the agencies have signed off on them, then we start scheduling the follow-up meetings.”
The American Dream Mall is to rise at the intersection of Interstate 75, Florida’s Turnpike Extension and Miami Gardens Drive. The megamall is expected to be larger than 5 million square feet and is forecast to have retail, entertainment and dining options.
Parts of the projects currently being reviewed include things such as the effects of the water, sewer, canals, environmental factors, and the roadways in nearby areas.
“We’re basically looking to identify all of the impacts that the project would have and then make sure we have identified what the mitigation measures are,” said Jerry Bell, Miami-Dade assistant planning director. “That’s really what we’re working on now.”
The review process is important because it ensures that the proper steps are taken.
“Obviously, the scope is larger so the details increase,” Mr. Kogon said. “But really this is just a standard type of review.”
While the private sector focuses on the effect a certain store will have, Mr. Kogon and Mr. Bell’s focus with this project is to calculate impact analysis.
“When we look at the impacts, we look at how much retail they’re going to have and how much land use they’re going to have,” Mr. Kogon said. “We calculate that, but we don’t look at the nature of the store.”
At the end of the process, there will be a specific developmental schedule, but exact dates are still being calculated.
“With a lot of these large developments, you’ll see you have ‘x’ amount of square feet of this particular part, and if they want to change that development schedule, they’ll have to go back to a public hearing, or in some cases you can shift the general calculations.” Mr. Kogon said.
The exact date the mall will open to the public is still to be determined.
“It’s such a unique facility, I have no clue” when it would be finished, Mr. Kogon said. “I don’t even know where to begin.”