Over lunch at the new Cecile Bakery + Café in South Miami recently, my friend posed a question that always seems to come up when I am in the neighborhood: what is happening with Sunset Place? I told her that the last I had heard was that the initial redevelopment plans for the shopping center were scrapped, the developer and the City of South Miami went back to the drawing board, and that the second iteration of the proposal was approved.
When I got back to my office I thought I would dig around a little bit more because, quite frankly, it seems like nothing is happening at Sunset Place – if you’ve walked through it lately then you know that some of their major tenants, including The Gap and Banana Republic, have left, although the movie theater and LA Fitness remain in their original locations.
The latest news that I found regarding the mall was a Miami Herald article from mid-year 2019, and it did confirm that the redevelopment will proceed, although it did not give any sort of hard timeline for the plan. What it did say, though, is that the new Sunset Place will have a more outward-facing design. Whereas it is currently a closed-off box with very little in the way of exterior displays or signage, it will be reimagined with an open concept that will be more welcoming and far more pedestrian-friendly.
Downtown South Miami could use a boost, and a redesigned Sunset Place would ideally bring in the crowds of shoppers, diners, and bar-goers that could revitalize the neighborhood. Let’s all hope that the new Sunset Place will be just the shot in the arm that South Miami needs!
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