American Dream Miami project gets green light
- Triple Five, developer of the $4 billion, 6-million-square-foot American Dream Miami retail-entertainment project, has won zoning approval from the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners and is now navigating the water and environmental permit processes, The Wall Street Journal reported.
- In an effort to appeal to consumers that would rather spend their money on experiences rather than the retail offerings they can more conveniently find online, Triple Five will likely alter the former mix of 3.5 million square feet of retail and 1.5 million square feet of entertainment space to include more restaurants, amusements and other attractions, such as a submarine experience.
- Those opposed to the project, mostly on the grounds that the area does not need a new mall and will draw business away from existing retail centers, do not want it to receive any taxpayer dollars like other Triple 5 projects — the Mall of America in Minnesota and the American Dream Meadowlands in New Jersey. Triple Five said American Dream Miami will be built with private money, but Miami-Dade commissioners have passed a resolution that prohibits the county from subsidizing the project. This does not prevent the state from contributing, however.
Miami-Dade commissioners were likely influenced by the potential economic benefits that the American Dream Miami project could bring to the county and region. Project officials have previously said that the community can expect the creation of 32,000 construction jobs at the height of building activity, 25,000 permanent jobs once the project is complete and $230 million of extra annual revenue for the county.
Completion of Triple Five's American Dream Meadowlands project, however, has presented some challenges to developers. The project, which is now scheduled to open in the spring of 2019, is two years behind the original schedule and was stalled while developers tried to secure more than $1 billion in financing. J.P. Morgan and Goldman Sachs came through in May of last year with a $1.6 billion private construction financing package.
Like American Dream Miami, the Meadowlands mall is heavy on entertainment, with planned attractions such as a DreamWorks Water Park, movie theaters, miniature golf, an ice skating rink, a ski and snowboard park, a Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park, a 1,350-seat Cirque Du Soleil theater, an aquarium and a Legoland Discovery Center. The project will also include 20,000 square feet of health, beauty, wellness and spa space, as well as an 800-room hotel and a gourmet food hall with two revolving kitchens.
- The Wall Street Journal Florida Officials Approve Plan to Build Largest U.S. Mall
Follow Kim Slowey on Twitter