- An Orlando, Florida, developer recently announced his $23 million contract to purchase the existing Orlando Fashion Square mall site and demolish the struggling shopping center to make way for a $1 billion mixed-use development, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
- Chuck Whittall’s plans for the 46-acre parcel include retail, residential and office space; mid- and high-rise apartments; restaurants; a movie theater; a bowling alley; and a hotel. However, he must still negotiate rights to demolish the existing mall with lender Bancorp, which foreclosed on a loan on the property in 2016.
- Whittall told the Sentinel that current mall tenants Macy’s and Premiere Cinemas are willing to stay on as part of the new development. The closing on the property, which has seen previous failed attempts at redevelopment, is scheduled for September or October.
As shopping mall tenants struggle to compete with their internet-based counterparts, developers are looking to transform these properties into something that will attract visitors, and, like the Orlando Fashion Square mall, also lure residents and office tenants.
Earlier this year, Centurion American Development Group announced that it was looking to turn the Collin Creek Mall in Plano, Texas, into a $1 billion mixed-use development. The master plan includes 500 townhouses and single-family homes, approximately 3,000 apartments, office space, 450,000 square feet of retail and restaurants and a central 9-acre park. Like Whittall, Centurion will demolish existing mall property and build new elements from the ground up, but it will also retain and renovate part of the existing complex.
A recent survey conducted by the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) suggests that these developers are headed in the right direction. The ICSC found that 78% of U.S. adults would consider moving into a live-work-play development, drawn primarily by convenience, efficiency and proximity to amenities.
Entertainment is also a feature that shopping center developers are adding to their projects. Taking that concept to the next level is developer Triple Five. The company’s $5 billion American Dream Meadowlands project in East Rutherford, New Jersey, is set to open soon. In addition to retail, it will feature more than 120 restaurants, an 800-room hotel, a spa, an aquarium, a Legoland attraction, indoor snow skiing and other entertainment venues.
Still in the development phase is another Triple Five project, the $4 billion, 6-million-square-foot American Dream Miami mall, which will offer similar attractions to those included in the New Jersey project.