US Capital breaks ground on 321 North

Rendering of lobby at 321 North University Drive
Rendering of lobby at 321 North University Drive

The campaign to rebrand the vacant former Fashion Mall site in Plantation as a walkable “lifestyle” center to be known as 321 North has officially begun.

Chinese investment firm US Capital Holdings Group has started construction this month at 321 North University Drive with plans to convert the failed luxury shopping center into a mixed-use development, the Daily Business Review reported.

The new center, which costs $400 million to develop, is designed to attract high headcount corporations. Plans include a hotel, conference center, 600-unit condominium tower and 160,000 square feet of high-end office space, along with restaurants and amenities for entertainment.

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Gerard Yetming, senior vice president of real estate firm CBRE, told the Review he has seen mixed-use properties that feature commercial, residential and entertainment components succeed in recent months.

“What we’re seeing in South Florida in general is a preference for tenants to live in developments that have that live-work-play environments,” Yetming said. “Developments that have live-work-play environments tend to get very strong rents so developers are trying to capitalize on that potential.”

US Capital has already worked for a few weeks on the common areas like the lobby and parking garages. The redevelopment is slated to finish by 2017, with residential space available in 2015. [Daily Business Review] Angela Hunt