Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mall Expansion Update 5.13

After a long period of inactivity I decided this morning to look for something new regarding the Aventura Mall expansion proposal. Rumors of a food court rennovated initially interested me due to its adgacency with the mall's only Miami-Dade Transit bus stop. Confirmation came months after the initial rumor via Miami Today article breaking the expansion. (I just spend 15 minutes trying to guess how Miami Today came out with the story. Maybe they read monthly agendas?)
With new scope to the matter further research became necessary to understand the fate of the mall bus stop. Miami-Dade Transit had nothing to say on the matter, instead claiming total ignorance, however what makes the situation so interesting is that the ordinance change the mall requires to expand their lot coverage to 44% (current max 40%) necessitates the very transit facility which serves as footnote in most articles on the story. Certainly a millions dollars expansion is a big deal, but in Miami those go for a dime a dozen. The guts of the story involve Aventura Mall Ventures possible manipulating city ordinances meant to maintain benefit the public.
From the proposal to the city:

The request is a policy decision as to whether the continued low height of the mall building and the construction of a centralized multi-modal transit facility on the ground
floor of a new parking structure is a benefit to the community that warrants the
requested increase
in lot coverage.
(Strange formatting mine)
How can Aventura Mall Ventures possibly meet a standard warranting the "requested increase" if they are not even in communication with local transit authorities?
That line of thinking raises all sorts of questions as to whether Aventura Mall is a Community Business, as is the designation they have. What kind of community does Aventura Mall cultivate and perpetuate?

I won't address most of the questions any time soon. At this time I focus on mall expansion and what's to become of the bus stop. While the potential for a well designed transit facility excites me, the reality of transit facilities in this area paint a depressing likelihood.
More to come?
Hopefully soon. No one else has written about it since, it seems!

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