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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A mega mall and entertainment complex in Northwest Miami-Dade that would dwarf any other appears to be on course for approval, but not without controversy.
It’s called the American Dream.
It would be the largest mall in the world.
A shopping and entertainment complex slated to go up on vacant land south of where the Florida Turnpike and I-75 meet near Broward County.
“We are not a run-of-the-mill mall,” said attorney Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, who represents the developers of the mall project. “We’re a family destination. We’re an entertainment complex. We’re a job-creating vehicle for Miami-Dade County.”
Developers say the retail shops, indoor pool and beach, waterslides and ski slopes would hire 14,000 people.
“We fully want to see this happen,” said Miami-Dade resident Ken Forrest. “Because it helps to improve the overall tourism industry.”
A local mother told the planning board the American Dream would save a drive to Disney World in Orlando, some three-plus hours away from Miami-Dade.
“As a mother of four small children, I’m very excited about the prospect of having a theme park for them,” said Homestead resident and mother Summer Davis.
The developers promised to pay for road improvements and expand transit to help counter the hundred thousand cars a day the complex would bring.
Unconvinced, Broward County is threatening a lawsuit.
“We are in trouble with the road,” said Broward resident Susan Caruso. “They are finite. You can’t keep building them.”
Environmentalists say the renderings, while pretty to look at, could have ugly results for the Earth. From harming wetlands to damaging the water supply, they call it the ‘American Nightmare’.
“This is a gigantic project,” said environmentalist Matthew Schwartz. “It will impact a region that is already reeling under environmental problems.”
That not withstanding, the American Dream project sailed through the planning board with only one ‘no’ vote.
Miami-Dade Commissioners are fully expected to give final approval to the mother of all malls next Thursday.
It could still face obstacles though, including possible challenges in court.