“We wanted to basically create a space that was architecturally interesting and compelling,” Shields said. “We wanted to make a stronger statement on Kendall Drive.”
Dadeland, one of Miami-Dade’s first shopping malls, has come a long way since it was launched as an open-air complex in 1962. At that time, it featured 60 stores and services, in 530,000 square feet of space, according to the mall.
After expanding and renovating several times over the years, today Dadeland encompasses 1.5 million square feet, and has 185 stores, including the largest Macy’s in Florida.
Prado said the mall attracts 17 million visitors annually, with about 40 percent of its business from tourists.
“We were the place to be in the ’60s, and Dadeland continues to be the center for people in this community,” she said. “We’re changing and offering the service and amenities people are looking for.”
Dadeland’s new wing has a mix of tenants, with some making their first mark on the local shopping or dining scene.
“I love it,” said Brenda Tabraue, 53, of Kendall, who was shopping with her husband Jorge at the new Tommy Bahama store, the chain’s first store south of the Village of Merrick Park, and which has the look and feel of a Florida beach house.
“We don’t need to go to Aventura anymore,” Brenda Tabraue said.
In addition to Tommy Bahama, stores already open in the new wing include a two-story Urban Outfitters, as well as Donald J. Pliner; Microsoft, Stuart Weitzman, Tesla Motors, Porsche Design, Boss Hugo Boss, Fit2Run, Everything But Water, babycottons, Luggage & more, Original Penguin, Edward Beiner, Lush and Orogold Cosmetics.
“This wing has the high end stores we are looking to be neighbors with,” said Shay Azan, owner and franchisee of Orogold, a Los Angeles-based company that chose Dadeland for its first Florida store.
Jewelry store ALO Diamonds, based in Prague, is making its first foray into the United States inside the new wing.
The high-end boutique offers hand crafted fine jewelry — diamonds and colorful gemstones — with a European flair, so the owners felt it was a perfect match for the South Florida market, said the store’s manager, John Chao.
“They felt that not only the concept but the style of jewelry would fit well in Miami,” Chao said.
Nearby, Aroma Espresso Bar has opened its first franchise south of Miami Beach — its fourth in Florida and 10th in the United States.
Aroma Espresso Bar’s New York-based Chief Operating Officer Lior Yanay, who has been in Miami to oversee the restaurant’s recent opening, describes the Israeli-based chain as “healthy, fast casual, with an international twist,” and said it is considered the Starbuck’s of Israel.
Besides coffee, the restaurant — which also has an outside patio — serves salads and sandwiches made with fresh bread, plus cookies, and gluten-free options.
“I think this mall is very powerful,” said Aroma Espresso Bar franchise partner Richard Goihman, who hopes to open more locations in South Florida.
Other stores still slated to open in the new wing include Express, which will have its second largest store nationwide, after New York, as well as Vince Camuto, Free People, PUMA and Times Square.