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Front Page » Real Estate » Highways nightmare stalls massive American Dream Mall

Highways nightmare stalls massive American Dream Mall

Written by on October 14, 2020
Highways nightmare stalls massive American Dream Mall

Delays in the completion of freeway interchanges that will provide access to American Dream Miami, a mammoth entertainment and retail complex to rise in Northwest Miami-Dade, could push back the opening for about a year.

“Our development agreement stipulates that the interchanges have to be in place before we can open, so we are tied to that,” said Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, a land-use attorney at Saul Ewing Arnstein and Lehr who represents Triple Five Group, the project’s developer.

“Our plan was to file in September for administrative site plan approval from the county,” he said – a step that must be completed before pulling permits and getting shovels in the ground. “We did secure the turnpike interchange, and we have been working with Florida Department of Transportation, the Florida division of the Federal Highway Administration and the county on the interchange off Interstate 75. That is the one piece that has been delayed, and it is blocking progress on the rest of the project.”

Once that hurdle is crossed, Mr. Diaz de la Portilla said, build-out is projected to take three and a half to four years.

The project, usually referred to as a mega-mall, is technically not a mall but a family entertainment destination, a distinction that required a change in zoning from industrial & office uses to business & office.

County commissioners voted in 2018 to rezone nearly 174 acres in unincorporated Northwest Miami-Dade to allow Triple Five to build several million square feet of retail space, a massive theme park and 2,000 hotel rooms on a vacant site between I-75 and Florida Turnpike’s Homestead Extension.

Triple Five Group – a Canadian conglomerate – is the developer of West Edmonton Mall in Canada, Mall of America in Minnesota and American Dream Meadowlands in the Greater New York area. Upon completion, American Dream Miami is projected to be the largest mall in the nation.

The original site plan listed retailers, restaurants and services as well as entertainment options that included the world’s tallest indoor ski park, a skating rink, indoor water park, aquarium, submarine rides, gardens, a multi-screen luxury theater complex, an arts center for live performances and more – a list that Mr. Diaz de la Portilla said may be adjusted once the post-pandemic “new normal” is established.

“We don’t know what this stuff is going to look like in a post-Covid world,” he said. “Right now we are evaluating the percentage of retail space versus the percentage of entertainment space, and shifting toward more entertainment.”

Also, Mr. Diaz de la Portilla said, the original concept of having everything under roof may be modified to include open-air space.

“We’re remaining flexible because there are so many imponderables,” he said. “Sometime in 2021– probably by spring – the picture should be a lot clearer. The interchange piece will be in place, and we will make some decisions.”

4 Responses to Highways nightmare stalls massive American Dream Mall

  1. K.L. Newcombe

    December 4, 2020 at 5:14 pm

    This developer’s American Dream mall in New Jersey is an abandoned ghost town. No one is ever going to go to this thing. It was a huge mistake for the county to approve it, and they ought to be ashamed of themselves for being so easily manipulated. Malls across the entire country are going bankrupt and standing empty. Trying to recast this as an “entertainment complex” is ridiculous. The developers will suck money out of the county and the taxpayers for years, and once this dinosaur opens, it will fail.

  2. John

    December 9, 2020 at 9:03 am

    This is an AWESOME idea because theme parks thrive here in this country.
    Being that it will be in Miami (and not a stupid destination like New Jersey), it will be a successful venue. Quit being such a hater K.L. Newcombe…..
    Here in Miami, anything constructed is done RIGHT and are always successful.

  3. B

    December 11, 2020 at 3:28 pm

    There will always be Naysayers! I am excited for this project to bring new life and spectacular alternatives of entertainment to local tourism communities. This will be a start/end for many FL visitors as well as local residents with open minds! This is a great time to enhance mass transit, deliver job opportunities, and develop a way for local residents to get a form of ROI on their home and business investments to compensate for deficits instead of getting hit with all the tax increases in the developing area.
    Imagine a child from Miami having an ice skating rink as a pathway to the Olympics in the future! The beaches are great no doubt, but I look forward post pandemic to taking my grandchildren to a the Dream Waterpark! Sometimes as an adult you just need to have the heart of a child!

    From an adult perspective we will always have to deal Miami traffic, and taxes accept it and think of the post pandemic value and give yourself some permission to GO HAVE FUN when the ADM is built!

  4. Roy

    December 29, 2020 at 3:59 pm