The American Dream Miami mega mall would have two levels of retail in a figure eight layout surrounded by scores of amenities, including an indoor ski dome, according to documents recently filed with the county.
The development in northwest Miami-Dade County aims to be the largest mall in North American with 6.2 million square feet plus 2,000 hotel rooms. In its application to the county, Triple Five Group said the mall would have similar vehicular traffic on a per-square-foot of leased space as the smaller Mall of America in Minnesota. That mall attracts more than 40 million visitors a year – more than the Magic Kingdom.
The attached two-level lease plan for American Dream Miami shows how the developer would place attractions throughout the mall. It would have five two-story retail big boxes.
The retail would total 3.5 million square feet. The size of other features of American Dream Miami in the application:
The mall would also have an indoor ice rink for figure skating and hockey, but the size wasn’t revealed. Based on the drawing, it’s slightly smaller tahn the Tivoli gardens.
This is one of the most ambitious projects in the world due to the amount of retail and entertainment, as very properties have all of these features, said Dennis Speigel, head of Cincinnati-based consulting firm International Theme Park Services. He compares it to two Triple Five properties – the Mall of America and the West Edmonton Mall – and Lotte World in Seoul, South Korea with the world’s largest indoor theme park and a massive mall.
Speigel also notes that both Mall of America and the West Edmonton Mall are in cold climates, which makes them challenging for tourists to visit during winter. That wouldn’t be a problem in Miami.
In those projects the driver is retail, but American Dream Miami has so many varieties of entertainment that could serve as a major draw, Speigel said. Certainly, all of those amusement options will keep people on the property longer, he said.
“It’s big, it’s expensive and by anybody’s stretch it’s very aggressive,” Speigel said. “There are going to be huge elements of critical mass here … The fact they are planning the snow dome in that market, it’s very interesting. That could fill a void that’s not in the Southeast U.S. There’s one in Dubai and it does very well.”
The snow dome in Dubai cost about $400 million to build, he added.
CBRE Senior VP of retail services Paco Diaz said Mall of America has an amazing tenant roster with something for everybody and that model would work well in Miami. Its location, at the southwest corner of Interstate 75 and Florida’s Turnpike, would serve an area that doesn’t have enough retail now, he said.
Diaz is working with a group that might build a shopping center on Miami Gardens Drive and Northwest 87 Avenue – just wast of American Dream Miami. It would be for discount retailers. Upscale retailers probably wouldn’t be interested in that submarket without a project like Triple Five has proposed, Diaz said.
The biggest malls in the area are the Dolphin Mall and the Pembroke Lakes Mall, but they don’t have the scale or entertainment proposed at American Dream Miami. Even the Sawgrass Mills mall could be impacted, he said.
“Once they hear about this new thing and they realize they have more retailers and entertainment there, they will probably go there [American Dream] and not to the Dolphin Mall,” Diaz said. “I would compare this to Disney World. It’s going to be a big tourist attraction for sure.”