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10

C Miami Magazine

O

pened in 1965 by owner / developer Stanley Whitman as

South Florida’s first exclusive high-fashion shopping center, Bal

Harbour Shops has gone on to become one of the most exclusive

shopping experiences in the world.

The shopping complex was built on what had been the site of a

World War Two army barracks. While, at the time of its construction,

in the advent of air conditioning, the norm was to mix grocery and

hardware stores that provided service essentials with retail in gigantic

indoor malls, Bal Harbour Shops shrugged that trend and was

designed to celebrate the balmy beauty of South Florida.

Ideally situated between the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay in

the affluent village of Bal Harbour, the lushly landscaped, open-air

mall didn’t look or feel like any other shopping center in America.

Even its parking areas with their generous palm canopy, were designed

with comfort, convenience, and natural beauty in mind.

Bal Harbour Shops’ early success can be largely attributed toWhitman’s

resolve in persuading Neiman Marcus to open its first specialty

department store outside its native Texas. Designer boutiques that

could previously be found in Paris and New York were also lured in.

Then in 1976, Saks Fifth Avenue became Bal Harbour shops’ second

anchor store, attracted by Neiman Marcus’ immediate success.

A Shopping

Retail Therapy

Oasis

14

C Miami Magazine