Developer wants Fashion Square Mall torn down, replaced with new lifestyle village

The Fashion Square Mall has been around for 45 years, and it’s showing its age. 

There have been several plans to give it a facelift. Unicorp Development’s president, Chuck Whitall, has the latest: Tear down most of it.

“Our goal would be to demolish everything with the exception of maybe Macy's,” Whitall said.

In its place will be a shiny new lifestyle village called Orlando Fashion Square. 

“Art, landscape, architecture, outdoor experiences, theaters, bowling, restaurants... it'll be a complete lifestyle center,” Whitall said. 

Along with stores, they also plan restaurants, about 2,000 apartments units and a hotel.

“We've already talked to the City of Orlando. I've talked to the mayor. They're excited to see something new happen here,” Whitall said. 

Shoppers had mixed reactions.

“I think it's a bad plan for this area, for business owners,” said Robin Harris.

“The town center is so much less expensive for the tenant,” said Fred Bostrom, “therefore less expensive for the customer.”

“No one hangs in the mall anymore anyway,” said Steven Johnson. “If they can put a whole little vibe with water and stuff like that, I think it will be great for the people here.”

Developers say any of the current tenants who are doing well will be able to set up shop again in the new retail space.