The 6.2 million-square-foot American Dream Miami — potentially the most expensive mall ever built — has received approval from officials in a Florida county. The project, which is being developed by Triple Five Worldwide Group of Companies, is estimated to come at a cost of $4 billion, The Wall Street Journal reported.
While the project was originally slated to have 1.5 million square feet of entertainment and 3.5 million square feet of retail, the new mall may have more space focused on entertainment. American Dream Miami will include 2,000 hotel rooms, along with features such as an ice-climbing wall, an indoor ski slope and a water park that will supposedly come with a “submarine lake.” Already, Triple Five has secured zoning approval from a county commission. Currently, the company is seeking water and environmental permits for the site, which is 174 acres.
The news comes as Hong Kong nightlife district pioneer and Lan Kwai Fong Group Chairman Allan Zeman has suggested that malls should stop focusing on selling people things and start selling them experiences as entertainment meccas.
“[Shoppers] still have to go out for entertainment and restaurants,” Zeman noted, suggesting that the next incarnation of the shopping mall should be a reverse of the old formula. He believes around 35 percent to 40 percent of mall tenants should be retail and up to 65 percent should be dedicated to entertainment, food and beverage spaces.
The future Zeman is imagining paints malls as showrooms for clothing and other luxury products. Shoppers will be able to browse but will likely look to the internet to find the same item at a lower cost, as is already happening in stores today thanks to mobile devices.
“They go online to find out if they can get it cheaper; if [so, they will buy them online] the next day,” said Zeman.
His latest project, the Shanghai Dream Center, was scheduled for completion in 2017. The venue was supposed to align with the new mall model Zeman suggested, equipped with an animation studio courtesy of DreamWorks and a Broadway-style theater for live performances, among other features.