A Canadian real estate developer has won approval to build what would be the most expensive and largest mall ever built in the U.S. The mall, to be built in the Miami, FL, area would be a massive 6.2 million-square-foot complex and would cost roughly $4 billion.
The developer, Triple Five Worldwide Group of Cos. of Edmonton, Alberta, secured zoning approval in May from the Miami-Dade County Commission in an 11-1 vote. They are now going through the approval process for environmental and water permits.
The site is strewn over 174 acres and would be a mix of retail and entertainment space. The project flies in the face of popular convention where malls are being shuttered and a record number of retail space is closing its doors. Developers, recognizing that fact, are trying to fill malls with entertainment attractions rather than retail attractions.
American Dream Miami, as the project is called, originally planned to include 3.5 million square feet of retail space and 1.5 million square feet of entertainment space, Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, a Miami-based attorney representing Triple Five told The Wall Street Journal. Now it looks likely to inverse that mix.
American Dream Miami is set to include 2,000 hotel rooms, indoor skiing, climbing walls and a giant water park with a “submarine lake,” where guests can submerge in a plexiglass submarine.
The complex, according to project supporters, will create 25,000 jobs and attract 30 million tourists annually.
The developer, Triple Five, is no stranger to mega-retail projects having built the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN, and the West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Canada. The company is privately owned and controlled by the Ghermezian family.
Photo by Triple Five Worldwide Group of Cos.