NORTH MIAMI BEACH, FL-Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is studying land size and location for the construction of a 200,000-sf SuperCenter at the 992,246-sf 163rd Street Mall in this Miami suburb. The estimated construction cost would be at least $12 million, according to industry estimators familiar with comparable jobs.

The Bentonville, AR-based retailer may decide on the location in the first quarter, according to published reports. Wal-Mart officials declined comment.

The property, located at 1421 163rd St. in unincorporated Miami-Dade County, is several blocks south of the city of North Miami Beach. Area officials say the project would provide a boost for the area. The 163rd Street Mall, built in 1956, has several storefronts that are boarded up on the east side. Wal-Mart is looking at that location, published reports indicate.

Until the late 1980s, the 163 Street Mall was anchored by Jordan-Marsh and Burdines department stores. The twin anchors gave the 44-year-old center a strong customer-attracting magnet. But the opening of Aventura Mall to the north and a demographic shift in population beginning in 1990 led to the mall’s decline. The area around it, however, has seen some redevelopment in the last five years. Target and Costco are relative newcomers just to the east in nearby North Miami Beach.

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