Goodbye, Sears Aventura Mall. Hello, Esplanade Aventura, an open-air shopping village replacing the retail giant.
New York-based Seritage Growth Properties, which owns the vast majority of Sears’ real estate properties, announced plans Friday for the 12.3-acre plot that once housed Sears, Sears Auto Center and parking lots adjacent to Aventura Mall.
The project, first proposed by Sears in 2014, now calls for an open, 215,000-square-foot space encompassing retail, dining and entertainment along a pedestrian boulevard and outdoor plazas. Many of the retailers will be new to South Florida or to the U.S., and most restaurants will be affiliated with well-known chefs, said Benjamin Schall, Seritage’s CEO.
THE PLAN CALLS FOR A WALKABLE BOULEVARD, CHEF RENOWNED RESTAURANTS, LARGE OUTDOOR PLAZAS, AND SOME RETAILERS THAT ARE NEW TO THE SOUTH FLORIDA MARKET OR NEW TO THE U.S. ALTOGETHER.
Esplanade Aventura is scheduled to open in late 2019.
Under the plan, the current Sears building will be demolished. The project, approved by the City of Aventura in December, is slated to break ground Friday.
The design follows the trend in retail toward more immersive shopping experiences — already seen in South Florida at venues like Brickell City Centre and CityPlace Doral. Seritage hopes it will also tap into an already robust retail market in Aventura.
Zach Winkler, senior vice president of retail brokerage at JLL, said the positioning of the project, with the mall as a potential anchor and centrally located in Aventura, will likely prove advantageous.
“If they can do something that creates that community feel where it becomes more of a community hub, there are a lot of people that will choose that over an enclosed mall,” Winkler said.