The Shops at Sunset Place Mall: Fading Retail Star in South Miami, FL

The Legacy of The Bakery Centre

Before The Shops at Sunset Place became a landmark in South Miami, the site was home to The Bakery Centre. This retail and office complex opened in 1986 and was built on the old Holsum Bread Bakery site.

The Bakery Centre was more than just a shopping destination; it was a community hub where locals could shop, dine, and catch the latest movies at the 7-screen AMC Theatres multiplex.

However, in 1996, The Bakery Centre was demolished, marking the end of an era. The site, rich with history and memories, was ready for a new chapter.

Birth of The Shops at Sunset Place

The Shops at Sunset Place emerged from the remnants of The Bakery Centre, opening to the public on December 18, 1998. This outdoor shopping mall was a significant addition to the South Miami retail scene, offering a fresh and modern shopping experience.

Today’s mall is the result of a strategic partnership between Federal Realty, Grass River Property, and the Comras Company. In October 2015, these entities purchased the mall from Simon Property Group for a staggering $110 million, marking a new phase in the mall’s history.

Architectural Grandeur and Diverse Tenants

The Shops at Sunset Place is a testament to architectural excellence, spanning three floors with a total retail floor area of 514,000 sq ft. The mall’s design blends modern aesthetics and functional design, with the Grand Staircase as a striking centerpiece.

This architectural feature not only adds to the visual appeal of the mall but also serves as a gathering spot for visitors, making it a symbol of the community spirit that The Shops at Sunset Place embodies.

Shops at Sunset Place Miami
Shops At Sunset Place” by Phillip Pessar is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The mall is home to diverse tenants, each bringing a unique flavor to the shopping experience. The Miami area’s only GameTime location is a major attraction, offering an array of arcade games and simulators catering to the young and the young at heart.

Just 4 Fun is a popular entertainment venue that offers a variety of games and activities for children and families. It’s a great place for kids to have fun and engage in interactive play, making it a popular choice for family outings and children’s parties.

Adding to the mall’s appeal is Barnes and Noble, a haven for book lovers. This store offers a vast selection of books across various genres, making it a perfect spot for those looking to lose themselves in the world of literature. The RH Outlet South Miami is a go-to destination for home decor enthusiasts, offering a range of high-quality furniture and home accessories.

For fitness enthusiasts, LA Fitness offers a comprehensive workout experience with state-of-the-art equipment and a range of fitness classes. The School of Rock, a music school that provides lessons for various instruments, adds a unique touch to the mall’s tenant mix. It provides a platform for aspiring musicians to learn and hone their skills.

The 24-screen cinema operated by AMC Entertainment, with its state-of-the-art sound and projection systems, offers moviegoers an immersive cinematic experience.

A Culinary Journey

The Shops at Sunset Place offers diverse dining options catering to various tastes and preferences. Among these are Taco Genius, Tea & Poets, and Jimmy John’s, each offering a unique culinary experience.

Shops at Sunset Place Miami
Shops At Sunset Place” by Phillip Pessar is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Taco Genius is a must-visit for lovers of Mexican cuisine. This restaurant offers a variety of tacos, each packed with flavor and made from fresh, high-quality ingredients. Whether you’re a fan of traditional tacos or looking to try something new and innovative, Taco Genius has something to satisfy your cravings.

Tea & Poets is a unique tea shop and social hub blend. Here, you can enjoy a wide selection of teas while immersing yourself in the vibrant atmosphere. The shop often hosts poetry readings and other cultural events, making it a popular spot for those looking to enjoy a good cup of tea while engaging in enriching conversations.

Jimmy John’s is a well-known chain that offers delicious sandwiches. Known for its speedy service and fresh ingredients, Jimmy John’s is the perfect place for a quick lunch or a casual dinner. Jimmy John’s has many options, whether you prefer a classic turkey sandwich or a vegetarian option.

A Quiet Hub

Once a bustling hub of activity, The Shops at Sunset Place now faces a quiet period. The mall opens at 10 am Monday to Saturday and 11 am on Sundays. The closing time is 9 pm from Monday to Saturday and 8 pm on Sundays.

However, the theatre and restaurant hours may vary, offering late-night entertainment and dining options for night owls. This flexibility in operation hours caters to the diverse schedules and preferences of the mall’s patrons, making it a go-to destination at any time.

Impact on the Local Economy and Community

The Shops at Sunset Place, once a significant contributor to the local economy and a vibrant part of the community, is now grappling with challenges.

The mall, which provided employment opportunities and contributed to the city’s revenue through sales and property taxes, is now facing a decline in traffic and an increase in vacant spaces. This has inevitably affected its economic impact and its role in the community.

A Nostalgic Look at the Past and an Uncertain Glimpse into the Future

The Shops at Sunset Place is a testament to South Miami‘s vibrant retail history. The mall has seen everything from its humble beginnings as The Bakery Centre to its peak as a premier shopping destination. However, it now faces an uncertain future. The mall is in flux with decreased footfall and an increasing number of vacant spaces.

As we look forward to what the future holds for The Shops at Sunset Place, we can’t help but feel a sense of nostalgia for its past glory. But one thing is sure – the mall’s story is far from over and will continue to be a part of South Miami’s narrative, no matter what the future holds.

Shops At Sunset Place
Zumiez Shops at Sunset Place, South Miami FL” by Phillip Pessar is licensed under CC BY 2.0
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