The Shark Tank: Miami Mega Mall Developer Says Taxpayer Dollars “Not Needed”

Retail malls around the country are closing, but the fascination with amusement or “entertainment retail centers” could be the next big thing for retail.

People will go to an amusement park to entertain the family before they go to a mall to shop. That is a given. So, with that said, could a retail component within such an entertainment or “mega mall” facility benefit from the foot traffic?


The “mega mall” and entertainment project being considered for construction in Northwest Miami-Dade County has faced intense opposition over the possible (most likely) increase in traffic congestion that the mall would add to the region.

Aside from the possible traffic dilemma that developers face is finding a way to fund the entire project.

Remember, this mall is modeled after the American Dream Meadowlands mall in New Jersey that has been under construction for more than a decade, and has been partially subsidized by taxpayer dollars.

Miamians do not want to flip the bill for another project like the disastrous Miami Marlins baseball stadium.

Opponents of the project are arguing that the Miami-Dade County Commission and Florida Legislature could eventually fund the “mega mall.”

According to developer Triple Five’s project manager Bob Gorlow, who we spoke to via telephone, the group “does not plan to ask for taxpayer dollars from the county.”

But what about the state?

Gorlow says that Triple Five is “asking anybody to put in money,” but “don’t plan to ask for taxpayer money” from anyone, especially from the state of Florida.

While Gorlow says that taxpayer dollars are “not needed,” he also stated that “it may happen” because Triple Five or any other developer, would not turn down any donation or investment into a project of this size.

Only time will tell if lawmakers, both at the county and state level, will set aside money to help Triple Five’s Miami endeavor.

The construction start date for mall is 2018 with completion slated for 2022.

Read more here:

by Javier Manjarres


For mega-mall project, a fight over how quickly Miami-Dade’s roads can be ready

MIAMI HERALD: A debate is under way over just how ready Miami-Dade County’s roads can be for the largest mall in America.

The developer behind American Dream Miami — a six-million-square-foot retail theme park proposed for undeveloped land off Florida’s Turnpike in Northwest Miami-Dade — contends beefed-up highway interchanges and other improvements will clear the way for an estimated 70,000 vehicles a day traveling to the new tourist attraction.

But others are questioning whether developer Triple Five is showing too much optimism by projecting a smooth expansion of the region’s transportation network — not to mention whether the improvements would be enough to prevent even more gridlock in an area where some roadways are already flirting with overload.

Read more

How Did the American Dream Mall Turn Into a Nightmare?

BLOOMBERG: The New Jersey behemoth, billions of dollars over budget, is the only large suburban mall being developed anywhere in the country.

Rising from the reclaimed swamps of New Jersey is the highest-grossing shopping center in the world.

That’s the dream, anyway, for American Dream Meadowlands: some 2.5 million square feet of retail and entertainment space featuring an aquarium, an amusement park, a wave pool, a baseball stadium, a ski slope, and a skydiving facility, drawing 40 million visitors a year, and creating thousands of jobs.

Read more


NJSPOTLIGHT.COM: Canadian developers say they're building more than a mall, it’s also an international tourist destination — one that would be partially funded by $1 billion in tax incentives

This is the first installment of Mall Madness, a five-part series on the American Dream retail and entertainment complex under construction in the Meadowlands. The series was produced through a reporting collaboration between WNYC, NJ Spotlight, and Bloomberg Businessweek. The second story, third story, the fourth story, and fifth are also available online.

“It makes me angry every time I drive by it,” said Matt Reagan, expressing a sentiment likely shared by many New Jerseyans about the multicolored behemoth of a building in the Meadowlands now known as American Dream.

Read more

American Dream Miami’s mega-mall plan: economic miracle or a mirage?

MIAMI HERALD: American Dream Miami sees its plan for a massive retail theme park in Northwest Miami-Dade as a historic boost to the county’s economy, employing nearly 15,000 people and providing enough over-the-top attractions to rival Orlando.

But opponents call the pitch less of a dream and more of a mirage, arguing that the six-million-square-foot mall would swamp traffic while sapping jobs from existing retail centers.

“There’s no net economic benefit from this project for the county,” Robert Weissert, head of research for Florida Tax Watch, told a local zoning board this week. “The jobs that are created are being destroyed in other places. They’re being cannibalized, they’re being displaced. Jobs leave from one area and go to this project.”

Read more

American Dream Miami pitches itself as Miami’s version of Disney World

MIAMI HERALD: The backers of a plan to bring America’s largest mall to Northwest Miami-Dade touted the project as a second chance to give Miami the kind of tourist attraction it lost when Disney opened its theme park near Orlando 45 years ago.

“We have a great hole in Miami-Dade’s economy,” said Joe Goldstein, a lawyer for the Graham Companies, the local development firm partnering with the owner of the Mall of America to bring a larger version of the retail theme park near Miami Lakes. “Now is the time to fix the loss of Disney.”

Read more

Transit at center of brewing fight over American Dream Miami mega-mall

MIAMI HERALD: If Miami-Dade wants the largest mall in America, its political leaders will have the chance to officially say so in the coming weeks.

The approval process for American Dream Miami, the 6-million-square-foot retail theme park proposed for Northwest Miami-Dade, is slated for its first public hearing Tuesday night before a local zoning panel. The schedule calls for a preliminary vote before the County Commission in 2017, setting up the next two months as a crucial testing ground for what’s proposed as an even larger version of Minnesota’s Mall of America.

Read more

This mall will be so ginormous that it comes with its own suburb

MIAMI HERALD: When the country’s largest mall comes to western Miami-Dade, a major developer wants to be ready with a custom-made mini suburb next door.

The Graham Cos. sold the owner of the Mall of America most of the land for its planned super-sized version in Miami-Dade, a 200-acre shopping theme park called American Dream Miami that would be about 40 percent larger than the original in Minnesota. Meanwhile, the Graham Cos. also is pursuing its own shopping complex just south of the American Dream Miami site, with commercial space for retailers looking for spillover from the mega-mall and about 2,000 apartments for people working there.

Read more

American Dream Miami mall pushed back due to traffic issues

THEREALDEAL.COM: New traffic study shows development would generate close to 70,000 trips a day.

Triple Five Group’s plans for what would be the biggest mall in North America have reportedly been pushed back due to traffic concerns.

American Dream Miami, a 6.2 million-square-foot project, would be built on about nearly 200 acres in Northwest Miami-Dade County. Triple Five had said it planned to break ground on the Miami development by the end of the year, but it looks like the developer will go before the county commission next year instead.

Read more