Future of Merrick Park Mall Owner in Serious Doubt

The Coral Gables Gazette reported on a discussion of the City Commission about the possible bankruptcy of the General Growth Properties, Inc., owner of the exclusive Merrick Park Mall. The mall has had serious problems for some time because it is focused on very high income consumers.  Also, the mall has had difficulties in establishing a local and regional image.

…Mayor Don Slesnick expressed his dismay at the situation and offered little in the way of action, except to ask for divine intervention.

“Let’s hope and pray that this (bankruptcy) does not come to pass and that our shopping center is good to go for the future,” Slesnick said.

As well as getting a status update from mall officials, Slesnick said the city needed to find out what would happen to the mall if its parent company ceased operations, wondering aloud whether the mall would continue to operate if General Growth went under.

It has been obvious for years that the mall represented a serious strategic mistake by trying to locate a high-end mall in a largely middle- to upper middle-class community. The mall has had a large turnover of stores in trying to adjust to interested consumers, and this seems to have largely failed.

About Stephen E. McGaughey
International consultant in economic development programs and projects

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