Zoning approved for American Dream & Graham projects

Wednesday, May 30, 2018 0 Comments


After three years of review by the Miami Dade County Planning Staff and 13 other agencies,  including the South Florida Regional Planning Council, and a nine hour hearing, The American Dream Miami (ADM) entertainment and retail project to be located just east of the Turnpike, west of I-75 and north of N.W. 180 Street, was approved by the Miami Dade Board of County Commissioners by an 11-1 vote. 

The approval entailed a change in the Comprehensive Development Master Plan (CDMP) designation from Industrial and Office to Business and Office and the adoption of the Retail Entertainment District Planned Area Development (REDPAD) zoning district. 

This unique development, estimated to cost over $4 billion, is being proposed by the owners of the Mall of America on 174 acres. The project is planned for 3.5 million square feet of retail, 1.5 million of entertainment and 2,000 hotel rooms. 

The entertainment portion of ADM will include a theme park, an indoor ski slope, and ice climbing wall, an indoor water park, observation wheel, a submarine lake with sea life, an art deco village with performance halls, bowling alley, an 80,000 square foot KidZania, and a lake in the center surrounded by 75-100 restaurants. While legally committed to bring at least 7,500 permanent jobs, the potential for direct and indirect employment is closer to 25,000. The project is slated to be completed by 2023.

Concerned about the project’s impact on the local roadway network, Commissioners Pepe Diaz and  Commission Chair Esteban Bovo Jr. pressed hard for assurance that all impacts will be addressed and that all roadway and transit improvements required be in place before the project is permitted to open. 

In addition to the extensive list of staff recommended roadways to be improved, the Commission also added the expansion of Miami Gardens Drive to six lanes from I-75 to N.W. 57 Avenue and the inclusion of a dedicated transit lane to connect to the proposed Smart Plan corridor. “With the amendment’s approval, the Board of County Commissioners took steps toward not repeating the sins of the past and demanding real solutions that will make our County a community in the future” Bovo said. 

The developers will be responsible for approximately $218 million in offsite roadway improvements in addition to the estimated $58 million in road impact fees that must be paid. The added capacity will actually exceed the additional traffic impacts. Busses and facilities for expanded transit service will also be required, to be funded by the developer. The project will also generate approximately $8 million per year for the Dade County Public School District.

Miami Lakes Mayor Manny Cid and Town Manager Alex Rey attended the meeting and expressed their concerns about how this project could impact Miami Lakes and insisted that the significant road impact fee dollars raised be spent locally and specifically on several projects planned in Miami Lakes. 

After the meeting, Cid said “I expressed the Town’s concern over the impact this project will have on our roadways. We are currently working with Miami-Dade County to implement road impact fees derived from this project in our community that will enhance our current infrastructure.”

The second approval by a 9-1 vote was to change the Comprehensive Development Master Plan (CDMP) from Industrial and Office to Business and Office and the adoption of the Employment Center Planned Area Development (ECPAD) zoning district on the 337 acre parcel owned by The Graham Companies located south of N.W. 180 street, east of the Turnpike, west of I-75 and north of N.W. 170 street. This change will allow the development of a mixed use community that will consist of approximately 3 million square feet of business and office, 1 million square feet of retail and 2,000 rental units. This is a change from the previous plans for this property to be developed as a large scale industrial park.

This development will be completed over a long period of time and not commence until a new interchange has been completed at N.W. 170 street and the Turnpike, and the surrounding adjacent roadways are in place. Representatives of The Graham Companies have said they look forward to creating a special place that will benefit from the lessons learned in Miami Lakes.



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