Southwest 88th Street and Southwest 72nd Avenue
Dade County, Florida

Metro-Dade's third shopping mall was built on a 71 acre tract, located 10 miles southwest of downtown Miami. The site was in an unincorporated section of Dade County known as Kendall and was adjacent to the new "Palmetto Bypass Expressway", which had opened to traffic in June 1961.

Officially dedicated October 1, 1962, DADELAND CENTER enveloped approximately 456,500 leasable square feet. It was developed by Joseph Meyerhoff, under the auspices of Monumental Properties, his Baltimore-based construction company. The open-air complex was designed by Herbert Johnson of Weed-Johnson Associates.

The initial phase of DADELAND CENTER, consisting of sixty-two stores and services, was anchored by a 3-level (196,500 square foot), Miami-based Burdine's ("bur-diynz"). Charter inline stores included Baker's Shoes, Cinderella Shoes, Dadeland Laundry & Dry Cleaners, Hartley's apparel, Paris Hats and the Yum Yum Shop ice cream parlor. Junior anchors were Gray Drug, an S.S. Kresge 5 & 10 and Food Fair supermarket.

A second phase of construction added a 3-level (210,000 square foot), Miami-based Jordan Marsh of Florida, which opened November 7, 1966. In 1967, Burdine's was enlarged with a 1-level eastern addition, which included a rooftop parking deck.

In late 1969, construction commenced on a fully-enclosed East Mall. One of its tenants, The King of the Mall (a supersize Burger King), served its first Whopper in November 1970. Anchoring the new East Mall was a 2-level (192,700 square foot) J.C. Penney. This store welcomed its first shoppers on January 28, 1971.

Burdine's was enlarged for a second time, with a 3-level northward addition. Post renovation, the store encompassed approximately 383,800 square feet. A multilevel parking garage, adjacent to the north side of Burdine's, was completed in 1972. Soon after, work got underway on an enclosure of the circa-1962 section of the mall. As a facet of this renovation, the official name of the shopping hub was changed to DADELAND MALL.

Competing shopping venues in the DADELAND trade area included MIDWAY MALL (1970) {5.6 miles north, in Dade County}, WESTLAND MALL (1971) {12.4 miles north, in Hialeah}, CUTLER RIDGE REGIONAL CENTER (1960) {8.3 miles southwest, in Dade County} (which morphed into CUTLER RIDGE MALL in 1978) and THE FALLS (1979) {3.3 miles southwest, also in Dade County}.

Monumental Properties sold DADELAND MALL to Atlanta-based Equitable Real Estate Investment Management, Incorporated in 1979. In an attempt to make the mall more upscale, tenants such as Foremost Liquors, Dadeland Barber Shop, Robins's Uniform Shop and the freestanding Burdine's Tire Center were moved out.

The Food Fair supermarket, which had received a Pantry Pride nameplate in 1970, closed in late 1981. Its area was renovated into the 15-bay Terrace Food Court, which opened in mid-1982.

A 10 million dollar mall renovation was announced in January 1983, which included new flooring and skylights. Early '60s animal statuary, geometric slide sculptures and fountains were removed. Moreover, two anchor stores were built on the south-facing front.

The first, a 2-level (78,600 square foot) Saks Fifth Avenue, opened November 3, 1984, followed by a 2-level (80,000 square foot) Lord & Taylor, which made its debut in 1986. Two additional parking structures were constructed.

In the meantime, the shopping venue had become rapid transit-accessible. On May 20, 1984, revenue service was inaugurated on the initial Dadeland South-to-Overtown / Arena MetroRail route.

Another 10 million dollar remodeling got underway in 1990. It included interior face lifts, a new Main Entrance, and construction of a sixth anchor; a 2-level (80,000 square foot) Limited-Express Superplex. This facility housed six inline stores and held its grand opening November 1, 1991. DADELAND MALL now encompassed 1,350,000 leasable square feet and contained one hundred and seventy-five stores and services.

Jordan Marsh at DADELAND was shuttered September 30, 1991. It re-opened, as a Burdines Home Store, November 11, 1993. In August 1997, the Indianapolis-based Simon Debartolo Group (now the Simon Property Group) acquired a controlling interest in the mall.

Burdines (spelled sans-apostrophe since 1973) had expanded their store further and now encompassed 420,000 square feet, becoming the chain's flagship. The store was rebranded as Burdines-Macy's January 30, 2004 and was fully "Macy-ated" March 6, 2005. With this rebranding, the Burdines Home Store became a Macy's Children's-Home-Furniture operation.

Lord & Taylor was shuttered in 2003. The building was razed, with a 2-level (150,000 square foot) Nordstrom taking its place. It began business November 13, 2004. Always staying ahead of the game, the Simon Property Group announced another renovation of the DADELAND property in March 2012. The project commenced with the demolition of a vacant Limited-Express Superplex, in February 2012.

A new Kendall Wing was built, which encompassed 2 levels and 102,000 leasable square feet. Its "Fashion Runway" housed toney tenants such as Hugo Boss, Tommy Bahama and Stewart Weltzman. An adjacent parking deck was also expanded from 3 levels to 5. The new stores were officially dedicated in March 2013.

The second stage of the project consisted of an upper level of five casual dining restaurants. Earl's Kitchen + Bar, Texas de Brazil and Bobby's Burger Palace were open for business by March 2014. Aoki Teppanyaki and Balans followed, in May 2014. DADELAND MALL now spanned approximately 1,510,000 leasable square feet and contained two hundred and ten stores and services.

Sources: Branch Store.doc / "Memories of Old Miami and Dade County"
Memories of E. Morgan / Metro-Dade resident 1957-2006
Miami-Dade, Florida Tax Assessor website


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