In the truth is stranger than fiction category CNN Money reports on the puzzling emergence of “American Dream Miami” a South Florida retail and entertainment complex that will be 6 million square feet-or roughly three times the size of the Tsawwassen Mills Mall built between Highway 99 and the Tsawwassen ferry terminal.
Despite the fact that Amazon is taking over nearly every aspect of retailing and that large retailers are going to on-line sales to maintain their margins, the “American Dream Miami” hopes to create enough “experiences” that people will want to spend a lot of time shopping there too. The Triple Five Group who is developing this behemoth is owned by the Ghermezian family from Edmonton that have developed the Mall of America and the West Edmonton Mall. These are the same folks that took over the failed “Xanadu” Mall in New Jersey and are attempting to remake it into American Dream Meadowlands.
complete with a giant ferris wheel and water slides. That project has missed its targets and now appears stalled.
Triple Five is counting on Miami shoppers wanting experiences, with a “skating rink, an indoor ski slope, an aquarium, nightclubs and theater space that can host acts like Cirque du Soleil and the Russian ballet.” This $4 billion project will also include 2,000 hotel rooms, and will not be built with public funding. “You’re talking about a regional entertainment destination,” said Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, a zoning lawyer for American Dream. “It’s not a run-of-the-mill mall.”
With County approvals projected for this year, this mall could be built by 2022 and is expected to create 23,000 construction jobs and 14,500 jobs associated with the mall. But if they build it are there shoppers and experience seekers that will come?