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NEWS: USA's largest mall proposed in "American Dream Miami"


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http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article12605384.html

 

The company that owns and runs the largest mall in America wants to build an even bigger one in northwestern Miami-Dade, a roughly 200-acre entertainment complex with submarines, a Legoland, sea lions and an artificial ski slope.

 

Backed by the owner of Minnesota’s Mall of America, American Dream Miami is proposed for land at the intersection of Florida’s Turnpike and Interstate 75 near Miami Lakes. It’s projected to cost as much as $4 billion to build and employ 25,000 people once opened, more than enough to give it Miami-Dade’s largest private-sector payroll.

 

It also would bring the largest mall in the United States to what’s now pastureland in Miami’s congested suburbs, using vacant real estate flanked by two of the region’s busiest highways.

 

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez revealed the deal Thursday in an interview, and said the venture promises to provide a historic boost to the county’s economy. Mall of America owner Triple Five is not asking for government dollars or free land, Gimenez said, but wants to create the kind of large-scale theme park that can attract visitors from around the world and sustain thousands of jobs across Miami-Dade.

 

“It takes a lot of logistics to keep a thing like that going. All the food, and the mechanical equipment, air-conditioning — there’s going to be a huge spin-off,” he said.

 

A glossy development proposal released Thursday lays out the broad plan for American Dream Miami (which was called Americana World when the proposal was put together but has been renamed, according to a source close to the discussions).

 

It’s largely modeled after Triple Five’s other East Coast expansion, another massive American Dream complex planned for New Jersey. That 3-million-square-foot complex is described as having some of the same features as the Miami proposal, including an indoor domed amusement park with a roller coaster, a water park and a Ferris Wheel.

 

Development there fell behind schedule amid financing complications, but Triple Five, which took over in 2010, says the project should open next year, the (Bergen, N.J.) Record reported in January.

 

The Miami proposal shows a live sea-lion show on the eastern side of the complex, and an indoor ski slope (with 800 feet of artificial powder) on the western side. To the north sits a “lake” offering submarine rides. Miniature golf, the water park, a skating rink and indoor gardens would go in the southern part of the complex, which also includes both hotels and condominiums, according to the proposal.

 

Triple Five’s materials do not lay out the dimensions of the proposed Miami-Dade project, but county and company officials said American Dream Miami is expected to be larger than the Mall of America. Corporate materials say that complex in Bloomington, Minn., comprises 4.2 million square feet, with 520 stores and 50 restaurants. By comparison, the Aventura Mall, currently Florida’s largest, has 300 stores and about 2.7 million in floor space.

 

“It is our intent that this project – American Dream Miami – will exceed our other world famous projects in all respects,” Triple Five said in a statement.

 

The proposed American Dream Miami site sits within the county’s Urban Development Boundary, meaning Triple Five only needs a change in the land’s zoning to move forward. Jose “Pepe” Diaz, the county commissioner whose district includes the proposed site, sounded guardedly supportive of the plan.

 

“From what I’m hearing, it could be a great thing,” Diaz said. “But I have a lot of questions.” He cited concerns about traffic, and said he may request Triple Five contribute funds to expand mass transit to the area.

 

Though in the works for at least a year and involving three governmental bodies, the American Dream venture remained secret until Thursday. Much of the 200 acres will come from the Graham Companies in a deal with Triple Five, but about 80 acres of it belong to the state of Florida. Further complicating negotiations, Miami-Dade’s school system holds a lease on a large chunk of the state parcel in a land-bank arrangement for the possibility of future development there.

 

Triple Five has agreed to pay $7 million to compensate the school system for waiving its lease, and Miami-Dade would then purchase it from the state, county officials said. Triple Five would pay $11 million for the state land, officials said, with Miami-Dade County acting as a pass-through for the transaction. County commissioners and school board members are expected to consider the proposals later this month.

 

The state is declaring the land surplus, and Miami-Dade is using its ability to acquire spare property to secure the site for Triple Five under the county’s economic-development ordinance. Miami-Dade would also act as the conduit for Triple Five’s payment to the school board, officials said.

 

Triple Five is a family-owned company started in Canada by Iranian rug dealer Jacob Ghermezian in the late 1950s. Its first mall opened in West Edmonton, Canada, in the 1980s. Ghermezian and his four oldest sons (the five in the company’s name) pioneered the concept of building malls so massive they could serve as tourist attractions. Opened in 1992, the Mall of America reports about 42 million visitors a year.

 

With its Miami venture, Triple Five faces a market that has turned away large and extravagant ventures in recent years. Genting, the Malaysian casino giant, retracted its plan to build the world’s largest casino in downtown Miami in favor of a more modest proposal that remains stalled amid a debate over Florida’s gambling laws.

 

David Beckham last year failed to win support for his offer to build a soccer stadium at PortMiami or on the Miami waterfront. Developer Jeffrey Berkowitz won voter backing for his SkyRise Miami observation tower, but it’s now the subject of a lawsuit by potential Gimenez challenger Raquel Regalado over county funding.

 

The American Dream project arrives as Gimenez is gearing up for reelection in 2016 on a theme of expanding prosperity and economic development.

 

Another theme park, Miami Wilds, is already pursuing a deal in southern Miami-Dade and won approval for a $14 million county subsidy with Gimenez’s backing. Tourist attractions and retail outlets traditionally offer some of the lowest-paid jobs in the economy, so the bulk of American Dream Miami’s payroll won’t consist of well-paying jobs at the top of Miami-Dade’s economic wish list.

 

“There’s going to be a layer of high-paying jobs” in management, said Sean Snaith, an economist at the University of Central Florida, “but if you’re talking about people working at stores and running amusement park rides, you’re talking about the typical low-paying tourism jobs you find throughout Florida.”

 

Triple Five said it plans to employ 25,000 people during construction, and create that many permanent jobs once open. Gimenez said the planned private investment will instantly vault Triple Five into a top taxpayer, with an estimated $50 million yearly bill. He noted the ongoing economic recovery has left out some of the county’s poorest neighborhoods, and residents there will welcome the new employer.

 

“There are a lot of folks in this town” who see these as good jobs, Gimenez said. “Everybody is focused on high-paying jobs. Not everybody is qualified for them. Twenty-thousand jobs are twenty-thousand jobs.”

image.jpg.68911bea05b16889e092043c452b72b3.jpg

An aerial view of the proposed American Dream Miami entertainment and retail complex, a massive attraction planned for Northwest Miami-Dade. Backed by the company behind the Mall of the America in Minnesota, it’s described as the largest mall in the United States. MIAMI

image.jpg.59978ec4150d0a359c71303fe2034d8a.jpg

Though centered around a mall, the proposed American Dream Miami would also have a Ferris wheel, roller coaster, and 500-foot-tall observation tower. Most of it would be enclosed by a dome shown here in the artist’s rendering of the theme park. Proposed for Northwest Miami-Dade County, the project comes from the developer behind Minnesota’s Mall of America. MIAMI

image.jpg.e3539c9a8f387214cc114a1289f78f6c.jpg

Plans for a water park at the American Dream Miami entertainment complex include 20 different “slides and water treatments,” and the world’s tallest indoor bungee tower. Proposed for Northwest Miami-Dade, the complex would be the largest mall in the United States. PROPOSAL BY DEVELOPER TRIPLE FIVE

image.jpg.093d532f8c98573e7935afeb1680723e.jpg

Edited by jedimaster1227
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I got really excited about this until I realized that is the same group as the ones behind Xanadu/Meadowlands/American Dream New Jersey... They've got West Edmonton Mall and the Mall of America to their credit but American Dream New Jersey puts a lot of red on their ledger.

Edited by jedimaster1227
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Amusement park looks like a rip-off of mall of america and the waterpark looks like a rip-off of the edmonton mall one. I doubt this mall will get built.

 

That's probably because it's just concept art from the company that owns both of those properties...They use the same piece of art for the Meadowlands project.

 

 

Reading up on the Meadowlands project, that one is heavily financed with government bonds..so it's a great deal for them. I imagine they will be pushing Miami for the same concessions.

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^yeah I know. Those two sentence weren't related. I was saying they have no original artwork showing the inside of the mall, making me think they don't really know what they're doing yet and that judging by how well the NJ project went that they is a pretty good chance that the mall will never be built.

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That's the standard for developers. It wouldn't make any sense to invest heavily on drawings/design/architecture without any approvals. You do the bare minimum to sell the concept and only invest on actual planning and design once you have the money and approvals.

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^^Sorry, I'm just a naturally skeptical person. It's just the way it's drawn and pitched reminds me of a ton of other failed projects (and especially dubailand for some reason).

 

Good luck finding a project that is not pitched in that manner. Like Joey said, that's how business is done.

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^^Sorry, I'm just a naturally skeptical person. It's just the way it's drawn and pitched reminds me of a ton of other failed projects (and especially dubailand for some reason).

 

Good luck finding a project that is not pitched in that manner. Like Joey said, that's how business is done.

 

Yep--but there's nothing wrong with healthy skepticism.

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I read about this yesterday morning on a development website I read, as it fascinates me. I wondered when it would appear here. Seems it did in the evening.

 

Yep, that's a De-Nicked rendering of MOA and the water park is Edmonton. I been to MOA but not Edmonton. Here's what it see in this. They seem to suggest Merlin has future here with the Lego listed, that also leads me to assume the Aquarium would be a SeaLife. I got my Google on and looked up American Dream Meadowlands and Mall of America and see where they are on those. Seems like the bonds haven't been issued yet for ADM but work is slowly taking place in the meantime. I read where they have finished up the pilings for the theme park and waterpark in a progress report given back in Jan. I know this project had to overcome renewed resistance from the NFL teams and the abyss of Jersey politics and that slowed it down. But... slowly it is happening with them even going so far as naming tenants like Saks and Lord and Taylor to FAO to and UGGS boutique . Mall of American is continuing it's expansion. So, things do happen with this outfit. From what I've read, retailers love them and when asked about being named they don't dismiss it like they usually do as they like to control that but just say nothing planned yet but we have a great relationship, yada, yada, yada.

 

American Dreams Meadowlands links

http://www.northjersey.com/news/american-dream-officials-say-financing-set-for-meadowlands-project-1.1260096

http://www.northjersey.com/news/retail-giants-lining-up-american-dream-says-1.1148277?page=all

 

MOA progress

http://finance-commerce.com/2014/12/mall-of-america-expansion/

 

I follow development, I know this is more likely than Miami Wilds/Paramount thema parks just because these guys have existing projects to point to. I know not everything they have tried to do has happened as well. I know that Southwest Airlines is spearheading an international terminal and expansion at Ft. Lauderdale as they move into international flights with Central and South America flights. The location seems to make sense on the grander scheme of things scale. They are targeting "international" areas. Notice that Minneapolis is an legit International airport with a direct rail link to MOA along with New York and Miami. American Dream Meadowlands has a rail link and apparently this Miami location does not have one it seems. There's a connection there. Target folks with extended layovers not just tourist to the local area. That's how we did MOA, planned 9 hours between connecting flights to hit it quickly in between.

 

It also reminds me of Schlitterbahn's plan for a Ft. Lauderdale waterpark, I wonder where that stands.

Edited by ElvisLuv
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  • 4 years later...

I'll let coasterbill make the jokes about the construction and opening dates.

 

https://www.tampabay.com/news/business/2019/12/17/the-countrys-largest-shopping-center-is-coming-to-florida-finally-we-know-when/

 

The country’s largest shopping center is coming to Florida. Finally, we know when.

The company manages several malls in North America, including Minnesota’s Mall of America.

By Rebecca San Juan, Miami Herald

 

After years of delays, the country’s largest shopping center finally has a birth date.

 

The Canadian development firm Triple Five Worldwide plans to start construction of American Dream Miami in late 2021, according to Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, who is an attorney at Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr and represents Triple Five Worldwide. He said Triple Five Worldwide expects to spend between $4.5 billion to $5 billion to build five million square feet in unincorporated northwest Miami-Dade County by Florida’s Turnpike, Interstate 75, and Miami Gardens Drive.

 

The mall is expected to open by 2025. The opening date has been pushed back several times and most recently was projected for 2023.

 

Though the Miami-Dade County Commission approved a zoning change required for the project in May 2018, plans for the retail theme park have not been submitted. That is expected to change in the coming year.

 

“Before the end of 2020, we will be submitting a final design and go through an administrative site plan approval,” said Diaz de la Portilla.

 

The focus in the months to come will be the interchanges needed on the Turnpike and Northwest 170th St. Also needed is an interchange — or interchanges — on Interstate 75, said Diaz de la Portilla. The roadway access must be completed before the mall can open. The developer expects to finalize an environmental study and the project design in spring 2020.

 

Triple Five Worldwide manages several malls in North America, including Minnesota’s Mall of America. It recently opened the American Dream Meadowlands in New Jersey. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez was among the first visitors to the $3 billion project.

 

The visit by Giménez and other Miami-area leaders came as the development firm continued to meet with county officials about public assistance for the project. A $15 million sewer pipe is needed for plans that include indoor lakes and a ski slope. Amid a changing retail landscape and thriving malls in South Florida, the mall will set itself apart by filling 65% of its space with entertainment options, including an ice-skating rink, aquarium, submarine lake, and roller-skating facility.

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^You can't say that now! That's the worst part about them almost actually finishing the Meadowlands project! Now granted, maybe our grandchildren will get to see this and by then it will be beach front property due to global warming but it could happen!

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This mall will open whenever they feel that they've taken as much taxpayer money as humanly possible to subsidize it and totally exhausted that resource. We're still in the early decades of the construction process where they're pretending that this will be privately funded but they know that if Miami was dumb enough to spend 2.6 billion on a baseball stadium for a borderline AAA team that wasn't even trying to win or draw anyone to their stadium or the city of Miami (despite the "But think of how the 11 people per night that come to our terrible games will stimulate the economy and revitalize the area blah blah blah" bullsh*t sales pitch that they probably used to convince them that it was a good idea) they'll probably throw a few billion their way once this project becomes enough of a local embarrassment.

Edited by coasterbill
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^You can't say that now! That's the worst part about them almost actually finishing the Meadowlands project! Now granted, maybe our grandchildren will get to see this and by then it will be beach front property due to global warming but it could happen!

 

Hey... The water park and the rest of the mall still aren't open yet. This is only slightly more alive than Artegon/Dezerland Action Park! There's still time for Miami's concept to remain in development hell!

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Sort of related to this: Triple 7 is also in escrow on a 47 acre plot of land in Los Angeles (Woodland Hills to be precise) that was the former rocketdyne jet engine factory. It already sits across the street from a mall (Westfield Topanga Plaza).

 

Aside from the obvious joke that buying a toxic site is sort of fitting for them, will be interesting to see if anything comes from this.

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And on the other hand, this is Triple 5, who leveraged their two existing, highly profitable, properties, against the inevitable fire-sale that will be American Dream NJ.

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Building a mall across the street from a mall sounds stupid, but on the other hand, Arlington, Texas.

 

They said that about Starbucks. Look who' laughing now.

 

Definitely not the owners of American Dream, but Starbucks for sure.

 

Edit - Also, who the hell decided Woodland Hills would be a prime location for a destination mall? Nobody I know that lives south of the hills ever visits the Valley unless it's life or death. You can't get someone from Hollywood to visit Encino even if you offered free tacos.

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Building a mall across the street from a mall sounds stupid, but on the other hand, Arlington, Texas.

 

They said that about Starbucks. Look who' laughing now.

 

Definitely not the owners of American Dream, but Starbucks for sure.

 

Edit - Also, who the hell decided Woodland Hills would be a prime location for a destination mall? Nobody I know that lives south of the hills ever visits the Valley unless it's life or death. You can't get someone from Hollywood to visit Encino even if you offered free tacos.

 

Well, Westfield spent a ton of money to remodel the Topanga Plaza mall about 5 years ago and built a whole new outdoor shopping area (Westfield Village) with a bunch of shops and restaurants right next to it as well. So there is definitely sufficient demand. A minor league baseball stadium was ALMOST built there as well (Angels blocked it from happening).

 

Valley has a large population base and there is lots of money nearby from Woodland Hills, Calabaasas, Encino, West Hills, etc. Would be a good spot for an indoor park of some sort IF Triple 5 went that route (speculation is that it will be a mixed use residential/office/retail community).

Edited by Jew
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