Falcone plans to knock down Fashion Mall, add resi, office, retail and restaurants

Miami Worldcenter developer wants to create Mary Brickell Village-type outdoor lifestyle center in Plantation

Mar.March 20, 2015 04:30 PM

The new owner of the vacant Fashion Mall in Plantation plans to redevelop it as a mixed-use property with residential units, office space, shops and restaurants, The Real Deal has learned.

“Today’s demographics are looking for what we call a lifestyle center where they can live, work and play,” said Art Falcone, co-founder, managing principal and investment committee member of Encore Housing Opportunity Fund, based in Boca Raton, which made the winning bid for the Fashion Mall in a bankruptcy auction Thursday.

“We envision repositioning the property ” as a residential, commercial and recreational destination, Falcone told TRD on Friday.

Judge John K. Olson on Friday approved the $37.7 million sale of the vacant Fashion Mall in Plantation to an entity affiliated with Encore Housing Opportunity Fund.

Encore has several South Florida developments under way. It is co-developing Miami Worldcenter, a mixed-use development covering 10 blocks just north of Miami’s central business district; Platinum Residences, an 18-story condominium project at 700 North Ocean Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale, and Aventura Isles, a master-planned community in North Miami.

The vacant Fashion Mall  is an enclosed shopping center with about 828,000 square feet of leasable space on 32 acres of land at 321 North University Drive in Plantation.

Falcone said demolition of the long-vacant shopping center is part of Encore’s plan for the Fashion Mall property: “We would take down the mall portion itself and keep the parking sections up.”

The housing portion of the redevelopment would include “mid-rise types of residential living, both for rent and for sale,” Falcone said. “And we would add what we call an outdoor lifestyle center with restaurants and shops, similar to what you see at Mary Brickell Village [in Miami] or at the Mizner Center in Boca.”

Falcone said the necessary zoning appears to be in place. “Our team has had conversations with the city,” he said. For the planned redevelopment of the Fashion Mall to proceed, “the city has to approve our new site plan going forward and a conversion of density from commercial to residential units.”

Plantation Mayor Diane Veltri Bendekovic, said Friday in a press release that “redevelopment of the Fashion Mall is long overdue.”

She also said the city’s “wish list for the property includes quality restaurants, owner-occupied multifamily real estate distinctive retail options and Class A office space.”

The court-ordered auction of the Fashion Mall arose from a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case at the United States Bankruptcy Court in Fort Lauderdale.

“The trustee is pleased for the creditors who will be paid in full as well as for the City of Plantation, which will benefit as a result of the sale to Encore,” Glenn Moses, a shareholder of Genovese Joblove & Battista, the law firm that represented the  bankruptcy trustee, said in a prepared statement.

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