Developer Triple Five’s dream of bringing the largest mall in the nation to Miami is one step closer to being reality.
Gov. Rick Scott and the four-member Cabinet voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve the deal, which would allow the developer to purchase an 82-acre plot in northwest Miami-Dade County that the state owns, the Miami Herald reported.
Per the deal, the county will act as an intermediary between the state and the developer. Miami-Dade will purchase the 82 acres from the state for $12.3 million, and then sell it to Triple Five for the same amount.
Roughly half of the land is being leased by the county’s school board. The school board agreed to break its lease last month in exchange for $7 million from Triple Five, along with another $1 million to fund internships and academic programs.
Some of the owners of South Florida’s biggest malls implored state officials to vote against the deal, saying that it allowed Triple Five to skirt competition, according to the Miami Herald.
The state’s surplus land protocols give local counties first dibs on any extra land before it goes up for sale, the newspaper reported.
Critics of the project have also said that it will increase traffic and create low-paying jobs.
Plans for the mall, dubbed the American Dream Miami, expect the project to cost $4 billion create 25,000 jobs. It would house its own theme park with an indoor ski slope, waterslides, submarine tours and would span four million square feet. [Miami Herald] — Sean Stewart-Muniz