The Shops at Sunset Place, located on Sunset Drive in downtown South Miami, continues to play an important role in the commerce of the city, while also representing a significant architectural figure in the city’s streetscape.
Constructed in 1999, the mall was initially designed to feature high-end retailers. Today, the Shops are evolving into a neighborhood resource with retailers whose product lines are aimed at the young adult and college student demographic. The management is focusing on the local population represented by the thousands of University of Miami students and other young adults in the South Miami, Coral Gables, Pinecrest and Kendall sphere of influence. In addition, they have made it their mission to make the Shops the place to host special events and fundraisers to benefit non-profit organizations.
“We want to offer a place where people can come together not only to shop and socialize, but also to participate in helping charities close to home. It is a great way to promote our retailers,” said the mall’s General Manager, Derrick L. Brown.
Brown, who has an extensive background in sales and management, has worked for the Simon Malls company for a number of years. The Shops hold a particular interest for him, and he is dedicated to making each merchant part of a neighborhood mall that caters to nearby communities.
He speaks of the AMC Theatres and IMAX, reporting that the South Miami location is among AMC’s most successful theaters in the country in attendance. Additionally, the Shops’LA Fitness is one of the chain’s most profitable operations, nationally.
Retailers featuring trendy fashions, jewelry and home decorating items are at home in the mall’s unique architecture that features clean lines and colorfullypainted walls. The courtyard, open to the sky, sports a beautiful fountain with rushing waterfall.
Splitsville, a unique concept that offers bowling and gourmet food in a plush environment, is an entertainment venue that has established a local reputation as a great place to spend time with family and friends, and one that supports local charities. With a GameTime to work off some stress, a Barnes and Noble to purchase the latest best-seller and restaurants such as Marhaba’s, Panera Bread and Buffalo Wild Wings to enjoy lunch or dinner, there is plenty to do in the Shops.
The Farmer’s Market, operated by the Market Company, is yet another wellreceived community-oriented addition to the scores of retail shops. Area vendors set up their produce, bread, prepared foods, aromatherapy products, fruit smoothies, honey and plants on the Sunset Drive main entrance every Saturday at 10 a.m. The ability to socialize and purchase fresh produce and other local products has the potential to attract another segment of a family-oriented and youth demographic.
“The Farmer’s Market brings another kind of energy to downtown South Miami and to the Shops,” said Brown. “It has made a huge difference to our retailers.”
The Shops at Sunset Place, located at 5701 Sunset Dr., open at 11 a.m. daily. For more information, visit www.simon.com and look for the South Miami location.