Officials approved a $400 million expansion of Bal Harbour (Fla.) Shops Tuesday that will nearly double the size of the luxury open-air center, adding an additional 340,387-square-feet of retail space to accommodate 40 more stores and a third anchor — Barneys New York.
Whitman Family Development, which built and owns the iconic 450,000-square-foot property, has long sought an expansion — the last occurred in 1982 with the addition of a second level of shops.
The exclusive center in Bal Harbour, a wealthy suburb of Miami Beach, was first opened in 1965 by Stanley F. Whitman. In the early 1970s he persuaded Neiman Marcus, and later Saks Fifth Avenue to come into the center. In 2012 it was ranked as the most productive mall in the U.S., with sales per square foot in excess $2,555, about seven times the national average.
“We’re thrilled to be making this major investment in the future of Bal Harbour Shops, which will solidify our longstanding place at the forefront of global luxury retail and build on the vision that my grandfather Stanley Whitman had when he first developed the Shops in the 1960s,” said Matthew Whitman Lazenby, president and CEO of Whitman Family Development, in a prepared statement. “As a business – and as a family – we have always believed that what’s good for the Shops is good for the Village, too, so these upgrades are also being made with the intention of benefitting the surrounding community.”
“If it’s good for the shops, then it’s good for us,” Bal Harbour Mayor Gabriel Groisman said after the 4-1 vote. In return for the approval, Whitman Family Development has agreed to donate land and build a municipal building, a concession valued at between $100 million and $120 million.
Construction on the addition is expected to take eight years.