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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Welcome to Miami’s newest retail destination – the Brickell City Centre.

It’s 4.9 million square  feet -spanning three city blocks. Swire properties purchased the land eight years ago and it’s been under construction for about four years.

“It’s a very exciting time. We’re 91 percent leased and have active  negotiations on what little space we have left so its very exciting,” said said Steve Owens, President of Swire Properties.

At Tuesday’s media first look press tour, it was plain to see the center is still very much under construction, just days before Thursday’s official opening..

When it’s finally completed , the Brickell City Centre will have 100 committed  retail stores as well as a movie theater and by next August, a 60 thousand square-foot foot Italian food hall.

“What has been toughest part of getting this together?”asked CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo.

“Certainly I think the scale of it .Nothing of this size has ever been done in this part of Florida before and not in this time frame,” Owens said.

The expansive three-level open air retail center is both artistic and environmentally friendly. The ceiling is called “The Climate Ribbon.” It’s designed to capture breezes and airflow allowing light into an open air space.

“We wanted to showcase the tropical environment Miami has to offer. We want everyone to feel comfortable, but always be able to feel cool, look up and see blue skies,” said Owens.

The anchor department store is a three-level Saks Fifth Avenue store – the first Saks built in South Florida in 3o years.

“We have a lot of clients that live in and around the Brickell area that can now just walk here. Others will come here for the destination. It elevates our brand, ” said Ramona Messore, General Manager of Saks Fifth Avenue.

By Thursday’s big opening day and ribbon cutting, they will have eight stores open plus Saks on the end and then it will be a day-to-day roll out, as they expect to have 63 stores opening by the end of the year.

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