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The country’s largest shopping center is coming to Florida. Finally, we know when.

The company manages several malls in North America, including Minnesota’s Mall of America.
A rendition of the American Dream Miami by Triple Five. The American Dream Miami mega-mall received the initial go-ahead from Miami-Dade commissioners in May 2018.
A rendition of the American Dream Miami by Triple Five. The American Dream Miami mega-mall received the initial go-ahead from Miami-Dade commissioners in May 2018. [ TRIPLE FIVE ]
Published Dec. 17, 2019
Updated Dec. 18, 2019

After years of delays, the country’s largest shopping center finally has a birth date.

The Canadian development firm Triple Five Worldwide plans to start construction of American Dream Miami in late 2021, according to Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, who is an attorney at Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr and represents Triple Five Worldwide. He said Triple Five Worldwide expects to spend between $4.5 billion to $5 billion to build five million square feet in unincorporated northwest Miami-Dade County by Florida’s Turnpike, Interstate 75, and Miami Gardens Drive.

The mall is expected to open by 2025. The opening date has been pushed back several times and most recently was projected for 2023.

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Though the Miami-Dade County Commission approved a zoning change required for the project in May 2018, plans for the retail theme park have not been submitted. That is expected to change in the coming year.

“Before the end of 2020, we will be submitting a final design and go through an administrative site plan approval,” said Diaz de la Portilla.

The focus in the months to come will be the interchanges needed on the Turnpike and Northwest 170th St. Also needed is an interchange — or interchanges — on Interstate 75, said Diaz de la Portilla. The roadway access must be completed before the mall can open. The developer expects to finalize an environmental study and the project design in spring 2020.

Triple Five Worldwide manages several malls in North America, including Minnesota’s Mall of America. It recently opened the American Dream Meadowlands in New Jersey. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez was among the first visitors to the $3 billion project.

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The visit by Giménez and other Miami-area leaders came as the development firm continued to meet with county officials about public assistance for the project. A $15 million sewer pipe is needed for plans that include indoor lakes and a ski slope. Amid a changing retail landscape and thriving malls in South Florida, the mall will set itself apart by filling 65% of its space with entertainment options, including an ice-skating rink, aquarium, submarine lake, and roller-skating facility.