American Dream Miami
|Location||Unincorporated Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States|
|Opening date||Not yet known|
|Developer||Triple Five Group|
|Total retail floor area||6,200,000 square feet (580,000 m2)|
American Dream Miami is a proposed megamall and entertainment complex intended for Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States, which will become the largest shopping mall in the United States if built. The project is being developed by Triple Five Group, owners of two of North America's largest malls, West Edmonton Mall and Mall of America. The project shares its branding with American Dream Meadowlands, currently under construction in New Jersey.
The proposed location of American Dream Miami is part of the Everglades region of Florida, near Everglades National Park but within Miami-Dade County's Urban Development Boundary. The site was first dredged in the 1920s and used as a dairy farm by Ernest "Cap" Graham, a farmer who was later elected to the Florida State Senate. Graham also founded the Graham Companies, which owns hundreds of acres of real estate in the area and developed the town of Miami Lakes. After the Graham family stopped running the dairy in the 1950s, the site became vacant wetlands and remains one of the few large undeveloped areas within the Urban Development Boundary.
Triple Five announced its plans for the site in March 2015, having been in the planning phase with governmental involvement for at least a year before the announcement. It was originally known as "Americana World", but the name was changed to match its sister project before plans were unveiled. Within the month, the board of county commissioners approved Triple Five's plan to purchase state land for construction. Another preliminary county board vote in January 2017 gave tentative and almost unanimous approval to the project. On May 17, 2018, the county board gave final approval to the commercial zoning for the site, allowing Triple Five to begin obtaining the permits needed for construction. The project will not receive any taxpayer funding through the county.
The complex will include 2,000 hotel rooms and luxury condominiums. A related project by the Graham Companies plans to create 2,000 apartment units, additional retail spaces, and 1,000,000 square feet (93,000 m2) of office space in a complex that will be finished by 2040. Like Triple Five's other malls, American Dream Miami will feature several major attractions as part of its entertainment complex, including:
- an amusement park
- a water park with an indoor beach
- a Ferris wheel
- a Legoland Discovery Centre
- an ice rink
- an indoor ski slope
- a sea lion park
- an artificial lake offering submarine rides.
As of May 2018, construction has not yet begun, pending regulatory approval of the project. The mall's proponents argue that it will create jobs, contribute billions of dollars to the local economy, and provide convenient entertainment to Miami residents. Opponents of the plan are concerned that development will hurt the nearby Everglades National Park, that it will create significant traffic problems, and that the retail market in the region is already oversaturated. The government of neighboring Broward County is considering a lawsuit against the project, arguing that Miami-Dade County underestimates the potential impact on Broward County traffic. American Dream was originally projected to open as early as 2020, but the opening date has been pushed back to 2022 while waiting for approval.
The debate over construction of the mall became an issue in the Democratic primary of the 2018 Florida gubernatorial election, as candidate Gwen Graham was criticized by environmentalists, progressives, and UNITE HERE for her ties to the project. Graham, the granddaughter of Ernest Graham and daughter of Senator Bob Graham, was a member of the Graham Companies board of directors until she resigned upon election to Congress in 2015, and continues to receive payments from the company that make up the majority of her personal wealth. Graham was favored to win the Democratic nomination, but was unexpectedly defeated by Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum.
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