Doral Paves Way For Miami International Mall Expansion
By Claudio Mendonca
Doral officials will allow a land rezoning that paves the way for Miami International Mall to expand by up to 10 acres.
In 1997, Simon Property Group bought nearly 14 acres from International Corporate Park Development. The land is a rectangular site spanning Northwest 12th to 25th streets between the east end of the mall and 102nd Avenue.
As part of a previous agreement, Simon will give a 4-acre parcel to Miami-Dade County to build a library and a Head Start facility.
West Dade County Associates, a partnership of Simon and Urban Shopping Centers, made the request to rezone the land from an industrial to retail classification. Simon Property Group is a real estate investment trust primarily owning malls and shopping centers
The change was approved last week by the city council. A site-plan review is pending and could be discussed Aug. 10 at the board’s next scheduled meeting.
"The Doral City Council changed the mall’s development of regional impact classification from industrial to business to allow the mall to expand their retail area," said Doral Councilman Robert Van Name. Development of regional impact projects are of large-scale proportion.
Simon Property also proposed merging two existing DRIs into a single order.
The proposed consolidated order contains a condition to provide a 4-acre parcel to Miami-Dade County for a public library and a Head Start facility for children and families. This agreement was made with the county four years ago, before Doral was incorporated.
Local retail consultant Herbert Leeds of Leeds Business Consulting said there "are indeed rumors among industry developers that the mall is intended for expansion." He said Miami International and neighboring Dolphin Mall have experienced double-digit growth in the past year but would not disclose specific numbers.
At 96 acres, Miami International has three anchor retailers – Dillard’s, JC Penney and Macy’s – and 26 other shops.
According to the mall’s Web site, the shopping center caters to a clientele with an average annual household income of $59,000 and a customer’s median age is 36.