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72-year-old engineer Bruce Kusens doesn’t want to be the mayor of North Miami Beach. He’s running anyway. Kusens has been disturbed by the political process surrounding the mall project, which is being pitched by high-powered South Florida developers Michael and Gil Dezer. Reported Miami Herald.

Dezer Developments is one of the most important developers in South Florida, responsible for many luxury condos in Sunny Isles Beach, including Porsche Design Tower, Armani Residences and The Trump Towers.

The political process surrounding Intracostal Mall project in North Miami Beach
A site plan for the redevelopment of the Intracoastal Mall in North Miami Beach. ZYSCOVICH ARCHITECTS

Along with many of his neighbors, the engineer is hellbent on stopping a $1.5 billion plan to bring two million square feet of development to the site of the nearby Intracoastal Mall.

“I think everybody that moves to North Miami Beach wanted to move to a suburban area,” Kusens told the Miami Herald. “All they’re doing is they’re changing it into an urban area. That’s just not what we signed up for.”

The Intracoastal Mall is a modest shopping center with a movie theater and a Winn-Dixie, among other stores, and a three-story office building used by nearby Asa College. Dezer Development wants to transform the site over 10 years by building a 250-room hotel, 2,000 multifamily units, 375,000 square feet of commercial and retail space, and 200,000 square feet of office space. Towers would be up to 40 stories tall. A canal would be dredged through the middle of the property.

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