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There’s a gold rush of expansion happening in South Florida, I am not surprised the market is on fire with shopping mall operators and commercial real estate developers all vying for the great opportunities to expand and renovate shopping centers across the South Florida region. Guess where the “new retail” is emerging? Areas such as open-air “high-street” shops that come with gourmet dining. And commercial real estate specialists in this sector are saying that Miami’s market fundamentals are strong and despite oversaturation fears, there is room to grow. Why is this in demand? Because today’s open-air shopping centers offer a refreshing contrast to the enclosed suburban shopping malls of the past. The investment is well into the billions.

So today the hottest shopping areas are being planned as I write this post. First of all, what are they? Who is developing them? Well in Bal Harbour, the Bal Harbour Shops is one of South Florida’s leading shopping centers with an open-air center landscaped with gorgeous fish ponds and palms. Whitman Family Development is planning the major mega-mall expansion. And this isn’t the only major shopping mall in the process of significant expansion. Aventura Mall and Bal Harbour Shops combined equate to the new $4 billion mega-mall. The American Dream Mall is planning to expand in the Miami Lakes area. In Miami’s Design District, new luxury designer boutiques are opening, and Wynwood is adding new shops, while the Brickell City Centre featuring its anchor store Saks Fifth Avenue is scheduled to open in the later part of 2016.

The Miami Worldcenter project recently announced a major redesign in downtown Miami. In South Florida, the city governments are allocating major funds to redo Miami-Dade’s historic retail areas on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, Coral Gables, Miracle Mile, and Flagler Street. The Doral is witnessing upscale retail. In Broward, the Fashion Mall in Plantation is planned to be demolished and developers will be replacing it with an open-air shopping center. Sawgrass Mills, home to America’s largest outlet mall, will be undertaking a development of a new wing for fine dining and full-price stores. Additionally, a separate developer is looking to build a separate, 480,000-square-foot mall named Metropica next door. Aren’t there a lot of great developments?

So this so called “mall mania” happening for retail in the South Florida region is really hot, despite present challenges with China, Europe, and Latin America’s economic slowdowns. Even tourist spending is slowed in combination with a volatile stock market, and more consumers spending online, the Miami area shows no signs of lagging. Consumers will love the upgrades!

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