Thursday, November 15, 2012

Fashion Square mall the next Winter Park Village?

Orlando's Fashion Sqaure Mall is for sale and there is already a buyer! UP Development of Franklin, Tenn., hopes to close the sale of Orlando Fashion Square by year's end.  Scott Corbin, a representative of the buyer says that "UP is considering several plans" and that "It's obvious it needs to be redeveloped." He would not disclose the sales price.
UP has already purchased property near Orlando Fashion Square, including a vacant Toys "R" Us, for $4.5 million, Corbin said. UP also has under contract 2.5 acres of vacant land behind Toys "R" Us, where it would like to bring in big-box retail outlet.
The company has already talked to potential tenants, Corbin said, and is considering a mixed-use project that would include apartments. He said it's too early to give details but tenant desires will have a major impact on the final plan.
The deal does not include the Sears, since that retailer owns its own stores at malls including Orlando Fashion Square.
UP's other Orlando projects include Shoppes at Alafaya Trail and Millenia Plaza. At Millenia, UP redeveloped an old Expo Design Center into a new Dick's Sporting Goods and combo Babies "R" Us/Toys "R" Us.
Corbin said the company's specialties include redevelopments and "difficult retail projects."
Orlando Fashion Square would fit that bill. The oldest major shopping mall in Central Florida, it has lost many national tenants over several years. Despite its challenges, Corbin said, the area "has very good demographics." The upscale community of Baldwin Park, for example, lies nearby.
The mall's owner, Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, said earlier this year it would sell Orlando Fashion Square and four other struggling centers to pay down debt.  A PREIT spokeswoman could not be reached for comment.
In Ocoee, assistant city manager Craig Shadrix said West Oaks is under contract with a new owner and that someone representing that company contacted the city and plans to meet with officials soon about its plans.

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