A History of America's Best Mall

If you are interested in real estate or fashion or entrepreneurship, this history of the Bal Harbour mall is pretty fascinating. The Shops at Bal Harbour, if you don’t know, just north of Miami Beach, holds last year’s record for retail dollars made per square foot in the U.S. It is full of trees and turtles and koi and ashtrays and crazy-rich people. And its original success is based on low base rents with a percentage of store revenue for the landlord — as well as a pretty crazy geographical noncompete, which has since been greatly eroded. The percentage rent thing is smart, when Bulgari and Graff and Van Cleef are tenants, and crazed South Americans and Russians are buying enormous diamonds to use as international flight capital travelers checks, basically. (THAT BEING SAID, their website should really not auto-truncate headlines. Meep!)