Fashion Mall

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Fashion Mall
Location Plantation, Florida, United States
Opening date 1988
Developer Melvin Simon & Assoc.
Owner U.S. Capital Holdings Group
No. of stores and services 110
No. of anchor tenants 2
Total retail floor area 660,000 sq ft
No. of floors 3
Parking A large six-story lot for the main mall, a smaller, two-story lot for Lord and Taylor, and a ground lot for Macy's.
Website www.321north.com

Fashion Mall was a three-level shopping mall in Plantation, Florida, a suburb of Fort Lauderdale. The mall closed in December 2006 following hurricane damage. The new owner is transforming the property into a self-described "dynamic mixed-use lifestyle destination" known as 321 North.

History[edit]

Fashion Mall opened with Lord and Taylor as an anchor store in early 1988. Thereafter, Macy's opened in time for the busy 1988 Holiday shopping season before the rest of the mall was completed.[1] The Lord and Taylor store closed in 2003, when the chain exited the state of Florida.[2] After a series of sales, the property was acquired by U.S. Capital Holdings Group in 2004. The Macy's remained open until 2005, when Hurricane Wilma caused significant damage to the store; on 26 July 2006, Macy's announced it was permanently closing the Fashion Mall store.[1]

Leadup to closure[edit]

After Lord & Taylor and Macy's closed, the occupancy dwindled to fewer than 20 stores. Adding to the center's woes was the hurricane damage and an agreement signed by the previous owners with the city of Plantation, agreeing to install upgrades to the mall's fire safety systems. While U.S. Capital Holdings Group considered plans to repair and renovate the property, the city pressed to have the upgrades installed, since the deficiencies had been noted since 2003 unbeknownst to the owner and it was claimed that nothing had been done to remediate them.

After a number of discussions between the city and the owner, the cost to remedy the city's requirements was considered excessive and unwarranted by the new owner, unless part of the total mall renovation. Without an amicable resolution, the city informed the mall's tenants that they would be required to vacate their locations in the mall by October 15, 2007, and that any occupational licenses held by tenants of the center were revoked.[3]

Redevelopment[edit]

On 25 January 2007, U.S. Capital announced plans to develop the project into a mixed-use lifestyle destination, named 321 North (for its address on University Drive).[4] The plan calls for a significant portion of the mall structure to be demolished, and the retail portion to be reconfigured to street-front stores. The company received site plan approval in November 2008 and began renovations. However, the recession that took full effect in South Florida in late 2008 and 2009 brought the project to a halt. Through 2010 and 2011, legal issues plagued the mall. However, under the auspices of a Chapter 11 restructure in late 2012, ownership was ready to move forward again.[5][6]

Current Status[edit]

US Capital Holdings Group is moving forward with plans to transform the former Fashion Mall into the only true mixed-use lifestyle destination in west Broward County, integrating retail, office, and residential components synergistically into one project. The 1.5 million-square-foot project will feature a diverse range of retail, dining, entertainment and cultural experiences, as well as office rental opportunities and a self-contained residential community.[7]

In the first phase, the existing office building will be renovated and reconfigured with new state-of-the-art technology and improvements to the common areas and adjacent, covered parking deck. Tenant installations will follow and are anticipated to be completed second quarter 2015. In following phases, residential towers are planned and much of the former Fashion Mall will be torn down as U.S. Capital converts the retail space from an enclosed environment into spaces that have primary frontage and visibility to University Drive. More office space and improved parking are planned, along with new landscaping. In anticipation of the changes, the company purchased Merritt Flower Shop.[8]

In May 2014, the majority owner, Chinese company Tangshan Ganglu Iron & Steel Co., accused project manager and minority owner Wei Chen of misappropriating $48.7 million of its funds. [1]

In October 2014, The developers of the Fashion Mall in Plantation voluntarily filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. [2] The bankruptcy will place the mall in the hands of professional fiduciaries. It is unknown whether this will delay the redevelopment. [3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Walker, Elaine (26 July 2006). "Fashion Mall Macy's will remain closed: There will be no grand reopening of the Macy's at Fashion Mall in Plantation.". The Miami Herald. Retrieved October 21, 2009. 
  2. ^ Londner, Robin (30 July 2003). "May to close all Fla. Lord & Taylor stores". South Florida Business Journal. Retrieved 2007-12-02. 
  3. ^ "Fashion Mall occupational license information" (PDF). City of Plantation. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-10-31. Retrieved 2007-12-02. 
  4. ^ "Developers plan $350 Million redevelopment of Plantation Fashion Maa incorporating residential, office, shopping, dining and entertainment components" (Press release). U.S. Capital Holdings Group. 1 February 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-02. 
  5. ^ Bandell, Brian (19 April 2010). "Plantation's Fashion Mall set for auction". Florida Business Journal. Retrieved 13 January 2011. 
  6. ^ Bandell, Brian (3 May 2010). "Judgment paid, Fashion Mall auction canceled". 
  7. ^ "The Vision". U.S. Capital Holdings. Retrieved 2013-06-25. 
  8. ^ "US Capital Holdings Acquires Merritt Flower Shop Property for Development of 321 North Mixed-use Lifestyle Destination" (Press release). U.S. Capital Holdings Group. 30 May 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-25. 

Coordinates: 26°07′30″N 80°15′28″W / 26.124916°N 80.257680°W / 26.124916; -80.257680