Proposed Miami-Dade mega-mall has New Jersey doppelganger

Northern mega-mall is smaller but will open first

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The recently-approved American Dream Mall is projected to be the largest mall in the nation, right here in South Florida, in northwest Miami-Dade County.

A model for that mall -- complete with a ski slope and water park -- is already underway in New Jersey and it could be a preview of what's to come. 

Local 10 News’ Glenna Milberg traveled to New Jersey to give us a look.

The name and the mall/theme park concept are virtually the same. 

The framework, like a giant erector set, off the highway west of New York City is a preview of one twice the size on track near the Everglades.

All but one Miami-Dade County commissioner approved Canadian Developer Triple-5's mega mall plan.

The approval comes with agreements for more road capacity and job projections, though the project still needs to address Florida-style environmental issues.

One of the biggest concerns in South Florida is traffic and that is also a concern in New Jersey too.

The site of the American Dream New Jersey mall is across the highway from Met Life Stadium, the home of the New York Jets and the New York Giants.

In fact, the teams filed an injunction to stop this project, then reached a confidential settlement.

The former Meadowlands site has similar entertainment components planned for the Miami-Dade project, including a water park, amusement rides and indoor winter sports.

However, in New Jersey, Triple-5 took over a failing, decade-old suburban mall plan in a public-private deal.

While, in Miami-Dade County, they'll be building fresh, private investment near the edge of the everglades.

The Miami-Dade mega-mall is projected to break ground in 2019 -- right around the time that the New Jersey American Dream mall is slated to open.

About the Author:

Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."