Construction Dive: American Dream Miami construction pushed back another year

Dive Brief:

  • Developer Triple Five Group said it aims to complete the $4 billion American Dream Miami mall and entertainment outlet by 2023, three years past the initially proposed date, according to Miami Today.
  • Triple Five must secure approval on master, zoning and development plans from the Miami-Dade County Commission by the end of the year to be on track for the proposed construction timeline. The county commission is expected to hear those plans in its last public hearing of 2017 on Dec. 7.
  • Project officials said the parcel must be rezoned from industrial and office use to business and office use to allow the project to move forward as a "family entertainment destination" rather than what many onlookers are calling a mega-mall.

Dive Insight:

News of the delay comes just months after project officials had said they would push the completion date back to 2022 to coincide the development's opening with the completion of nearby infrastructure improvements and transportation projects. If the project moves forward according to developers' proposed scope, it will be the largest mall and amusement park in the U.S., beating out the long-time titleholder, Mall of America in Minneapolis.

The development comes as retail centers face a pressing need to rethink the traditional brick-and-mortar approach. According to a 2016 Pew Research Center survey, 79% of U.S. shoppers have purchased an item online, and more than 40% buy something online a few times a month or weekly. The mall may not be dead — yet — but dozens have already shuttered, with estimates projecting up to a quarter of those remaining to close by 2022.

This trend toward internet shopping has forced retailers to be more creative in their attempts to get customers through the door. Grocery stores like Whole Foods have taken this approach as well, offering up opportunities for socializing with bars and dine-in spaces.

But amusements and attractions that appeal to the whole family are the focus of large developments like American Dream Miami and its New Jersey counterpart, American Dream Meadowlands. Scheduled to open in March 2019, the development will feature a DreamWorks water park, an indoor ski and snowboard park, a Cirque du Soleil theater, an aquarium, a Legoland Discovery Center and an ice skating rink.

by Kim Slowey

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