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We're still recovering after last month's shocking announcement that Bloomingdale's and Macy's might not be happening for Miami Worldcenter and that plans for an enclosed shopping enclave were swapped for a new open-air design. The team behind the $1.7 billion mega project has softened the blow a bit by releasing renderings of the new shopping district, which is set to begin construction in March.
The new and improved Miami Worldcenter will contain one- and two-story restaurants and "high street" shops with public promenades and plazas sprinkled in. As far as we can tell from the renderings, although nice, they definitely don't invoke any reminiscence to Soho as was previously mentioned. It is, without a doubt, a stunning and futuristic upgrade from Downtown's undeservedly barren landscape, but it looks to us a little cold and culture-lacking. Then again, it's too soon to tell.
Like we mentioned before, there's a chance that Macy's and Bloomingdale's will drop out, however the Miami Herald reveals that developers of Miami Worldcenter are trying to appease them. According to The Herald, department stores usually need larger and taller buildings than high-street retail can accommodate, and shopping center could shrink from having 760,000 square feet of retail to about 450,000 square feet.
In 2014 Bloomingdale's began experimenting with smaller "reimagined" stores. Its first, at the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, fit 68 designers in just 125,000 square-feet of space. A 120,000 square foot store was planned for Miami Worldcenter, which would have still been one of the smallest (if not the smallest) Bloomingdale's stores.
Are they willing to shrink it even more? Will Miami Worldcenter be willing to cut out a few high street tenants and accommodate? Here's to hoping that they can find a happy medium so that Brickellites and Downtown residents don't have to keep heading all the way to The Falls and Aventura for their Bloomies fix.