OVIEDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - It’s been tough times for the Oviedo Mall for quite a while but now there’s a bold plan to turn things around.
“I’m really excited about everything that’s happening. I heard there’s an arcade and a game center or something so yeah it’ll be great,” said a shopper Julia Patenaude.
The mall’s new owners are planning to stuff the place with entertainment and leisure activities. According to the Orlando Sentinel, the owners are considering such attractions as a children’s museum and a virtual reality gaming center.
Julia Patenaude said her kids already use the limited playtime options here.
“Hopefully they’ll keep some sort of playground area like what they have now because that’s really why we come. They can get out and stretch their legs and I can shop a little bit and not feel so bad bringing them to the mall,” she said.
And she is eager for what’s coming next
“We love the mall as it is but obviously we welcome many new changes because it’s just going to get better and better,” said Patenaude.
The L.A. based company that bought the mall in February for $15 million is betting their plan can reverse a downward slide with stores including Macy’s shutting down last month.
“People were pretty upset about that closing,” said another shopper Kayla Purnell. “When you walk down the mall, the shops are just empty, I think places try but it just doesn’t stay.”
Other attractions reportedly being considered: escape rooms or small entertainment games where a group of people solve puzzles to exit the area, a bowling alley, an interactive play area, a sports bar, and a 26,000-square-foot entertainment space.
Construction is expected to begin in the next few months.