Mega Mall Coming to Downtown MiamiBy Willard Shepard
A massive new mega mall planned for downtown Miami has local shoppers ready to spend and local politicians seeing dollar signs.The massive Brickell CitiCentre consisting of more than five towers will rise from the land bordered by Brickell on the East, Southwest 1st Ave. to the west and between Southwest 8th and Southwest 6th St.
The complex will be bigger than the Dolphin Mall's 1.4 million square feet of retail space, bigger that Sawgrass Mills Mall -- in fact about double the size of Sawgrass -- at 4 million square feet.
"This is the biggest private works project in the U.S. this year, this is the biggest private works project in America," said Miami City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff. "It's going to bring Miami into the epicenter of retail shopping and that includes Coral Gables and even Aventura."
The project will create 1,700 construction jobs every year for the four years it will take to complete construction. When it's finished there will be 3,800 permanent full time jobs here.
And taxes will bring some $15 million to the city and county.
The City Centre will house not only retail shopping but office space, apartments or condos, and a hotel.
Restaurant operator Alex Pilat is hiring now, and sees a need for more workers and dollars signs. He just opened his sandwich shop right across from the site of the planned mega mall.
"It's going to be excellent," said Pilat. "It's going to bring more people to Brickell and give people here more choices."
"This is the biggest thing to happen in Miami in about 12 years," Sarnoff said.