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History Of Dadeland

Originally an open-air center, the mall was anchored by Burdine's (spelled with an apostrophe at the time), and also boasted a Food Fair grocery, full-service Gray Drug and the Summit Restaurant, Lounge and Cafeteria (later known as The Forum). A Jordan Marsh anchor store was added to the west end, which opened in November 1966.

A massive construction project, initiated in late 1969, doubled the size of the mall by twinning it (leaving the huge Burdine's in the middle), and adding a wing of fully enclosed retail onto the east end. Moreover, the existing courts and concourses were fully enclosed and air-conditioned. Another feature of this expansion was the King of the Mall, an enormous Burger King (whose corporate headquarters were then located across from Dadeland on North Kendall Drive). This renovation project was completed with the opening of JCPenney, the mall's new east anchor store, in early 1971.

The mall attained notoriety as the site of a 1979 drug-related shooting spree during Miami's "Cocaine Cowboys" era. In broad daylight, two gunmen exited a paneled truck, entered a liquor store and gunned down two men, wounding the store clerk. The dead men were eventually identified as a Colombia-based cocaine trafficker and his bodyguard.

A third expansion, undertaken in early 1983, added Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor to the south-facing front of the complex. A food court had also opened, in the shuttered Pantry Pride (former Food Fair) supermarket, in 1982. A subsequent renovation, completed in September 1987, saw the interior of the mall updated, with its early 1960s animal statues being removed.


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