Developer Triple Five, which is the same company responsible for the current largest mall in the world, Minnesota’s Mall of America, wants to go even bigger in Miami. This new location, which would be called American Dream Miami, would occupy more than 200 acres at the intersection of Florida’s Turnpike and I-75, and could cost as much as $4 billion.
Triple Five has already submitted plans to the officials in Miami-Dade, and this project would be a major undertaking. Rather than simply being a mall, the developer wants to create a space that will also double as a theme park. It would include a Legoland, sea lions shows on one side, submarine rides on another side, and simulated ski slopes that would include 800 feet of artificial snow. There would also be a skating rink, miniature golf, indoor gardens, and a water park. The gardens would be included in a part of the complex that would include condominiums and hotels.
Carlos Jimenez, the Miami-Dade mayor, has said that the proposed project would be the largest development in the county’s economic history. Included in the proposal was the fact that it would require the creation of 25,000 new jobs just to build the development, and an additional 25,000 to operate it once completed.
The mostly farmland property in which Triple Five is interested currently has three different parties that would be affected:
• Graham Companies, which owns most of the land
• Florida, which owns 80 acres
• Miami-Dade Public Schools, which leases part of the land from Florida
If the project is approved, Triple Five will provide compensation of $7 million to the school system for surrendering its lease, and pay $11 million to Miami-Dade for the land.
The entire project is proposed to top that of the Mall of America, which has 520 stores and includes 50 restaurants, all covering 4.2 million square feet. Aventura Mall, which is currently the largest in Florida, has only around 2.7 million square feet, and 300 stores.
The proposed complex is modeled after a 3-million square foot project that is planned in New Jersey with the same name. Triple Five took over the development in 2010 after financing complications, and it is expected to open in 2016. Triple Five is intending for American Dream Miami to outdo all of the other famous projects that they have in all respects.
The current site proposed for American Dream Miami is in the Urban Development Boundary in Miami-Dade. In order to move the project forward, Triple Five will only need to have the zoning of the land changed. If the project is built, it is estimated that the developer will spend $50 million in annual taxes. At this time, Triple Five has not requested any tax breaks or subsidies as a part of the proposal.
Talks are still on-going, but if the proposal is accepted, it could mean major changes in the economy for that area of the county.