Miami-Dade County school board vote advances mega mall plan

'American Dream' developer offers $7.25 million to school board to buy out lease-option

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor, Glenna Milberg - Reporter

MIAMI - The Miami Dade school board unanimously voted Wednesday to give up its option to lease state land to clear the way for a proposed mega mall in return for more than $7 million and a possible million more in contributions.

On Wednesday, school board members voted in favor of selling the land to make way for the American Dream mall.

The move comes a day after Miami-Dade County commissioners voted 11-2 to act as broker for 80 acres of state-owned land being purchased by developer Triple Five.

Triple Five's Eskandar Ghermezian, developer of the Mall of America in Minneapolis, has plans to build a 4 million square-foot complex with stores and attractions, including a snow ski slope. He has already assembled a patchwork of 120 privately held acres, but needs 80 more acres owned by the state of Florida to fill in the parcel.

Triple Five has agreed to pay the state-appraised $12 million for the land by passing it through Miami-Dade County as the broker, plus is offering $7.25 million to the Miami-Dade County school board to buy out its lease-option.

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