The Intracoastal Mall Controversy

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One of the largest shopping meccas in Florida and the true retail gem of Miami-Dade County, the Intracoastal Mall at is due to undergo some changes. The mall at 3501 Sunny Isles Boulevard, North Miami Beach, was selected for a 2.8-million-square-foot renovation plan by the Dezer Development last year. The project involves creating retail, office, residential, and hotel space within the property.

The development group’s portfolio is quite impressive and features numerous ambitious projects, which include Hyde Midtown Suites and Residences, Porsche Design Tower, and Residences by Armani/Casa among the most famous ones. With those stunning high-rises that are dominating the Sunny Isles Beach skyline, Dezer is not going to stop any time soon. The company currently owns one of the largest holdings of Florida’s beachfront property. 

However, it seems that things are not going to go as swimmingly as the used to with all the previous projects, the Dezer Development used to be involved with.

Grand plans for the Intracoastal Mall

The Dezer Development affiliate company purchased the Intracoastal Mall in December 2013. One of the largest retail spaces in North Miami Beach at the time when it was built in 1986, the mall featured 271,000 square feet of retail space boasts a perfect location along the Intracoastal Waterway. The deal was signed for a staggering $63.5 million and, at the time, the company’s plans for a 26-acre property were not clear.

Then, the 40,000-square-foot lease was signed which solidified the installation of an eight-screen movie theater inside the mall by 2015. The deal was made between Dezer and a luxurious theater chain iPic Theaters.

Additionally, in 2015, the property was renovated in order to accommodate 2,000 residential units and 2.5 million square feet of commercial space. 

The news about the massive renovation of the Intracoastal Mall first emerged in the end of summer 2019. The exact plans of the developers were not clear up until recently. It has been reported that the project is going to feature 375,000 square feet of retail, 200,000 square feet of office space. Additionally, the property will be offering 2,000 residential units and 250 hotel rooms. The residential space of the project will be spread out throughout 495-feet tall towers.

How did the issues arise

However, the ambitious project was faced with a controversy that had to do with the exact location that the Dezer Development selected as a perfect renovation spot. 

The Eastern Shores community that is located on 9 streets between the 29 Avenue St Avenue to 40th Avenue, was not happy about the project as soon as more details on it emerged. The community is set on a network of mostly man-made canals. This area is known to be a much-sought-after and prestigious neighborhood with single-homes ranging in price between $1.2 million and more than $6 million. The gated community also boasts its own Fire-Rescue Department and 24/7 security that makes it very safe and private.

It comes as no surprise that the residents of the Eastern Shores community were not happy with being put next to a mega-project of that scale with tall buildings that are likely to obstruct the water views that were among the reasons they settled for this area in the first place.  

As a result of a collective report that was filed by the Eastern Shores community, in June, the North Miami Beach Planning & Zoning Board issued a statement to delay the plan on turning the Intracoastal Mall into a multi-purpose property that was offered by the Dezer Development. 

Possible solutions for the ambitious renovation project

The main reason for the project deferral was, however, not the Eastern Shores residents’ concerns. The official statement listed potential traffic issues as a key concern. As the Northeast 35th Avenue is the only exit route for the Eastern Shores neighborhood and it goes past the Intracoastal Mall, it is bound to raise the potential risks of traffic jams.

The Dezer Development was recommended to come up with a transportation plan that would be approved by the Florida Department of Transportation and that would unload the traffic flow in the problematic area. 

The deadline for the new solution has been set to July 13, and so far it seems that the development group might be able to tackle the issue with ease. 

The current proposal-in-the-works by the Dezer Development includes a alternative height propsals for the buildings, as well as creating recreational zones as well fire- and police-substations. One of the most impressive point in the proposal includes creating an additional canal (by slicing the existing one) and installing a water taxi stop.

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