City mulls new plans for Orlando Fashion Square mall site

City mulls new plans for Orlando Fashion Square mall site

New plans are being considered by the city for Orlando Fashion Square mall site

The City of Orlando is looking at plans for a major redevelopment of Fashion Square Mall.

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The City of Orlando is currently reviewing plans to redevelop Fashion Square Mall. 

Tell that to Sam Zarou, owner of Sam’s Watch & Jewelry, and he’ll say he’s heard that before.  His store is one the mall’s longest-standing tenants.

“Let’s see, that’s about the twelfth plan we’ve heard!” Zarou quips.

He is crossing his fingers that this time it will be the right one. 

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“Hopefully it’ll go through,”He said. “Something needs to be done. We can’t stay like this, it’s a waste of property. Hopefully, this will pass.”

Baker Barrios, an architecture firm in the area, submitted a three-phase master plan to city officials. The plan included renderings of how the redevelopment might look. It will eventually result in 1,400 housing units including apartments and townhomes. There will also be more than 100 thousand square feet of new retail space and shops, as well as a 120-room hotel.

Baker Barrios provided rendering

This is good news for Austin Valle, from Orlando YIMBY who calls for more housing near downtown. 

“We’re glad to see it’s mixed-use so there will be housing and retail on the same spot,” Valle says, “but we don’t think it’s dense enough. We don’t think there’s enough housing there, enough walkability there, yet.”

Valle said that he would like to see more of the site because of the need for housing, especially affordable housing, near downtown. 

“We’re of a mixed mind,”He continues. “It’s better than if it were an empty mall, but not nearly good enough.”

Next, the plan will be presented to the full city commission on December 6. If the plan is approved, some buildings may not be going down. The Macy’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods and other outlying buildings and restaurants will be preserved.

FOX 35 Orlando will bring you the most recent headlines from Central Florida.

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