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Mall Of America Developer Planning A Bigger, $4B Project On Outskirts Of Miami

The American Dream mall, when it was under construction, at the Meadowlands in New Jersey

Triple Five Worldwide says its three North American malls — Mall of America in Minnesota, West Edmonton Mall in Canada and the under-construction American Dream Meadowlands just outside of New York — will draw more tourists annually than Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Times Square, the Las Vegas strip, the French Quarter, the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone combined.

Now, the company is moving forward with its biggest project yet: a $4B, 5M SF theme park and shopping center on 175 acres in Miami-Dade County — a few miles north of Miami city limits — that would include dining and shopping, plus a performing arts center, an indoor waterpark, an indoor ski slope, a skating rink, an aquarium and submarine rides.

The project would be branded as American Dream Miami. The site is located where Interstate 75 meets Florida’s Turnpike Extension and Miami Gardens Drive.

In 2017, Miami-Dade’s 13-member county commission gave the project preliminary approval. The commission is scheduled to vote Thursday on amendments to its master plan, zoning changes that would allow entertainment and retail in an industrial area, and a development agreement that would require the developers to manage stormwater runoff and kick in money for transit improvements.

Some rival retailers in the region, such as Dolphin Mall and Bayside Marketplace, are banding together in hopes that they can prevent the project from accepting subsidies, and thus possibly derail it, the Miami Herald reports.

Commuters could be facing serious challenges in the area because Miami-Dade County has also approved a commercial/residential project by the Graham Cos. on 300 acres just south of the proposed megamall. Broward County, which lies just to the north of the proposed project, is threatening to sue because of the anticipated traffic congestion. The project is expected to generate 100,000 car trips per day.

Financing problems could possibly derail the Miami attraction, but Triple Five successfully funded its American Dream Meadowlands, which is set to open in March, with $1.1B in tax-exempt bonds and a $1.67B construction loan from JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs.