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Miami Worldcenter Cancels Enclosed Mall

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Previous rendering of Miami Worldcenter

Months before planning to break ground on its 760,000-square-foot mall, Miami Worldcenter developers have announced they're canceling the enclosed mall portion of the multi-billion dollar project and instead are opting for a high street retail plan with an open-air promenade, likened to SoHo in New York and Union Square in San Francisco.

Previous rendering of Miami Worldcenter

"We've invested a significant amount of time on the project," said Robert S. Taubman, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Taubman Centers, who are co-developing the retail component with the Forbes Company. "Unfortunately, we were unable to structure an enclosed mall program that meets our investment criteria. We're pleased, however, to work with The Forbes Company and Miami Worldcenter Associates on the potential development of a high street plan that we all believe will provide an outstanding retail experience."

Macy's and Bloomingdales signed on under the previous plan but there is uncertainty whether the anchor tenants will remain.

"We would love to find a home for them here," said Nitin Motwani, principal of master developer Miami Worldcenter Associates. "When we started developing, the perception was that you needed strong retail as anchors, even in an urban setting like Miami. But for a lot of different economic reasons that model is changing."

The news comes days after Macy's announced 40 of their stores are closing in an effort to "become more efficient and productive" after a disastrous holiday season.

The developers will be meeting with city officials this week to present the change but they still expect to open fall of 2018. Paramount Miami Worldcenter, the project's luxury condo tower with the rooftop fun-plex, broke ground in September.

· Miami Worldcenter Coverage [Curbed Miami]