Move over, Mall of America
After years of debate and controversy, the largest shopping mall in the United States is on its way to becoming a reality.
Miami-Dade County (Florida) commissioners voted 11-1 late Thursday to approve the American Dream Mall, about 6.2 million square feet of retail to be known as the largest mall in North America.
The retail complex will have theme-park attractions such as a 16-story indoor ski slope and a 20-slide water park. It will also have a movie theater, a performing arts center, restaurants and 2,000 hotel rooms.
If all goes as planned, the mall has a planned opening date of 2022, ushering in new shopping and entertainment options for South Florida. The project will be located in the northwest corner of developed Miami-Dade County, where the Florida Turnpike meets I-75.
"The American Dream Miami will not only create jobs and attract investment to our community, but it will also contribute to the county nearly $60 million in impact fees, a transit center, new buses for Miami-Dade and Broward, and $210 million for roads and interchange improvements to accommodate traffic," said Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr's Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, who is the attorney for American Dream Miami being developed by Canadian firm Triple Five. "We look forward to the next step of this comprehensive application process and building an entertainment destination with attractions for families to enjoy and our community to be proud of."
The new mall comes at a time when some shoppers are abandoning the traditional mall and shopping more online instead of at physical stores.
American Dream's developers say they're keenly aware of that trend, as they plan a more experential retail shopping center.
"This project is meant to be a response to that phenomenon," project manager Bob Gorlow told CNN.