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The American Dream in ’18

Who says retail is dead? I continue to read about the end of retail, though you wouldn’t know it of you looked at the recent facts. While the S&P Index of the 500 largest U.S. stocks is up about 4½% year to date, the S&P Retail ETF (XRT) is nearly double that, at around 8¼%. On top of that, while some bemoan the closing of brick-and-mortar stores and the demise of the retail mall, Triple Five Worldwide, a Canadian Mall developer and creator of the Mall of America, is set to break ground on the largest mall in the world, American Dream Miami, just outside Miami, FL.

Coming in at least $4 billion dollars, American Dream Miami will be spread over 197 acres, or 150 football fields. With six million square feet of retail and entertainment space, American Dream Miami predicts 300 million visitors a year and is meant to be much more than a mall, rather a retail theme park. Triple Five says they’re in the business of “reshaping retail” and meeting the demands of today’s modern consumer by combining retail with entertainment, with a slight bent to the latter to enhance the former―with all entertainment venues accessible solely through the retail courts.

But they go a lot further than making you walk past stores, expected to be about 1,200 in total, to get to the cinema. The objective is to “combine the best in global retail, destination dining, art, entertainment, technology, and hospitality into one ever-evolving, experiential complex.” The space will include a 16-story indoor ski slope, a giant water park replete with an indoor lake and beach and working submarines! Yes, submarines.

So perhaps retail isn’t dead, just reanimated into an “experience.” Of note, Miami isn’t the only Dream location. There’s another currently under development in New Jersey, near the Meadowlands. Perhaps they’ll have roller coasters!

The new mall, for all.

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