Mall of the Americas is still suffering from the effects of Hurricane Irma.
If you want to use the bathroom while inside shopping or dining, you’re out of luck. Toilets are still inoperable five months after the massive Category 3 storm ripped through South Florida.
Visitors are greeted by the sight of high end portable toilet stations set up in the parking lot.
A small sign set up outside the mall reads in both English and Spanish: “We apologize for the inconvenience as we address damages caused by Hurricane Irma.”
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The mall’s owner Sterling Organization is working to fix the situation.
“The mall suffered extensive damage due to Hurricane Irma,” Lauren Perry, vice president of marketing told the Miami Herald. “This included roof damage, which caused flooding and damage inside the mall to many stores, kiosks, common areas and the food court.”
Perry adds that the mall hit an insurance snag.
“A claim was filed, however — as many homeowners and business owners have experienced in Miami over the years — the claim is still pending with the insurance company.”
While stores are dealing with their own issues with water damage and other issues, restaurants were harder hit as by law, they could not reopen without functioning bathrooms.
According to the Florida Building Code, food courts must provide one toilet per 75 diners.
“The food court restaurants were not going to be allowed to reopen without a functioning bathroom,” Perry confirmed. “As a temporary solution, luxury bathroom trailers have been provided at the mall’s food court entrance so that our mall businesses can remain open and the public can enjoy the restaurants in our food court while they shop.”
The age of the mall — which includes an Old Navy, Marshalls and The Home Depot — doesn’t help matters. The 800,00 square foot retail destination off the Palmetto Expressway was opened in 1970 as the Midway Mall. The name change took place in 1987.
Some locals are fed up, venting via harsh Google reviews.
Writes one shopper with the handle @Mafe: “Mall looks like it’s under construction both inside and out and for a while now. They have a sign outside that states they’re repairing Irma damages but quite frankly the mall looks terrible from way before Irma.”
Reviewer @JonWare complains: “This mall has REALLY gone downhill. About 10 years ago there was a great selection of stores and popular food franchises. Now, the mall consists mainly of no name stores carrying cheaply made products. Even the restrooms no longer work, with toilets being located in trailers located near the mall entrance.”
Others suggested the place undergo a massive renovation — or to avoid it altogether.
@TiffanyJ vents: “STOP!! Do NOT waste your time going here. I’m only giving one star because I can’t give zero. This ‘mall’ is dark, musty & dusty. It looks & smells like it should have been demolished decades ago. First, I have NEVER been to a mall that did not have inside restrooms. There’s fair style restroom trailers out in front of the building....Had I read the reviews before I drove over an hour to get there, I wouldn’t have wasted my time.”