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First Look: The New Face Of Dadeland Mall

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Artist rendering of expansion at Dadeland Mall.  (Source: CBS4)

Artist rendering of expansion at Dadeland Mall. (Source: CBS4)

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – South Florida’s first shopping mall and a South Dade landmark since 1962, the Dadeland Mall, will get it’s 5th major overhaul, with a new building housing restaurants and a new group of stores developers are calling the Kendall Wing. The mall will also see an expansion of the parking deck.

On Wednesday the mall’s owners, the Simon Property Group, unveiled artist renderings of what the multi-million dollar makeover will look like when complete.  The renderings show an elevated walkway which wraps around the building opening to Kendall Drive. The Iiteriors will have more of a galley look with elegant chandeliers and flooring.

“We’re going to be building brand new 102,000 square feet which will allow us to add up to twenty new retail tenants that are not currently in the mall, as well as six new restaurant spaces which will be up on the second level overlooking Kendall Drive and some great patio spaces,” said Kathy Shields, senior vice president of development for the Simon Property Group. “It will really give us and opportunity to change our whole architectural image.”

Located at Kendall Drive, US1 and the Palmetto Expressway, the expansion at the mall will take place on the site of the former Limited/Express store at the mall’s main entrance.

Built in 1991 as part of the mall’s last major expansion, the he Limited/Express will be torn down and the new wing will be built. It’s set to be completed in Spring, 2013.

Our visitors’ number one activity is to go shopping, so this will be a big draw to them,” said Gisela Marti, with the Greater Miami and The Beaches Conventions and Visitors Bureau.

The building will be divided into two areas. The first floor will offer a new valet entrance into what is being dubbed the “Fashion Runway”. Shops will be placed on the first floor, but at this point mall developers offered no indication what stores would be there. The second floor is expected to be dedicated to restaurants, with patio seating overlooking Kendall Drive, which was known as “The Road to Nowhere” when Dadeland opened as an open-air shopping center.

In addition to the new stores and food, Miami-Dade’s mayor said the mall expansion will bring new jobs.

“They are talking about 200 to 300 new permanent jobs and obviously the construction jobs it will create,” said Mayor Carlos Gimenez. “A good sign is that they are expanding the retail mall, it means that the Simon Group thinks the economy is rebounding and that people are going to be shopping again. It’s a good sign that they are going to be investing in our community and make it happen, so it’s good all the way around.”

Over the years, Dadeland has seen a number of reinventions and expansions.

In 1966, Jordan Marsh, a department store chain that has passed into Florida history, joined the original Burdine’s and Food Fair supermarket as an anchor store.

In 1969, the owners doubled the size of the mall, placing Burdine’s at the center, and fully enclosed the newly air-conditioned shopping center.

In 1983, the mall added two new anchor stores and the food court, and in 1991 the mall’s front entrance was updated, along with new stores like The Limited.

The last major renovation of South Florida’s original mall was 21 years ago. Since then, the Dadeland area has seen major growth, with new hotels, condos, and office buildings, forming a thriving urban neighborhood.

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