The new 26,000-square-foot entertainment space will be called Arcadia and will be in a spot next to the closed Macy's. Conceptual plans call for a handful of escape rooms, or small entertainment games where a small group of people solve puzzles to exit ...
The new owners of Oviedo Mall are adding escape rooms, a children’s museum and restaurants as they survey the landscape of failing malls nationwide.
It’s part of a plan by the new owner, International Growth Group, to stay ahead of the competition as malls are losing key tenants, said mall marketing director Stefany Best.
“Overall, it’s a matter of adapting,” Best said. “It’s known that nationwide malls are struggling. We started the process a few years ago, but the new owners are really committed.”
International, a Los Angeles investment firm, bought the property in February for $15.3 million.
Anchor department store Macy’s announced in late 2016 that it would shutter its 100,000-square-foot location there. The Macy’s store closed at the end of March.
The new 26,000-square-foot entertainment space will be called Arcadia and will be in a spot next to the closed Macy’s. Conceptual plans call for a handful of escape rooms, or small entertainment games where a small group of people solve puzzles to exit the area.
Plans for the Arcadia are still being finalized but could include a small bowling alley, virtual reality gaming and a restaurant.
The mall is looking at 5,000 square feet as a “children’s museum” or an interactive play area aimed at younger kids, Best said.
“It’s really something that is needed and wanted in the community,” she said. “There aren't enough places for kids to go.”
The new ownership group has also considered trying to get a brewery or sports bar, but nothing has been set. International Growth Properties is also working on new retailers for the mall, according to Best.
International Growth Properties hopes to start construction on Arcadia in the next few months and they are planning to open it in the second quarter of 2018. Arcadia will take the place of a former Foot Locker store and other vacant retail, Best said.
Oviedo Mall has made some attempts to bring in new tenants to diversity the shopping experience there. In recent years a health club and a children’s activities business took the place of Bed Bath & Beyond, which moved to a nearby shopping center.
Even though it has closed, the Macy’s property is still owned by the department store chain. Best said International Growth Properties is eager for it to go on the market and will attempt a purchase.
Oviedo Mall has been sold three times since 2010. Most recently, International Growth Properties bought 554,000-square-foot mall for $15.3 million, nearly double what it was sold for in 2013.
In Central Florida, malls outside the tourist corridor have been hit hardest by increasing competition from shopping centers and the rapid growth of online shopping.
Owners of Orlando Fashion Square filed for bankruptcy in late 2016 and recently turned the property over to its lender. West Oaks Mall is trying a revamp with office jobs to bring in more traffic.
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