As the progression of time continues, the difference a year makes on a property is crazy in either a positive or negative way, and Orlando Fashion Square Mall in Orlando Florida is no exception to that claim in a negative way. The last time I did a proper tour here was in July 2020, and at that time, JCPenney was liquidating and while dead, looked like it could maybe have a small chance of revival. However, it appears ever since JCPenney left, more and more tenants continue to leave the mall. The occupancy here is dipping down really fast, and redevelopment plans have been approved for the mall, so I really do not think it will have much more time left. If you want to go see this mall, I would do it now. It is a very nice wanted to check out, and is one of my favorites!
History: Orlando Fashion Square in Orlando Florida began life in 1963 as a standalone Sears store. It wasn’t until 1971 that plans were unveiled for a major shopping mall to be developed by Leonard L. Farber to include the existing Sears, but also build a Burdines as the anchors as well as several other shops and restaurants. Orlando Fashion Square Mall officially began life on July 30th, 1973, and received very high fanfare, and would continue to expand when a free-standing movie theater would be added as an outparcel in 1975, however it would close in 1989. In the late 1980s to early 1990s, Orlando Fashion square would receive an expansion adding a second level food court, a new Maison Blanche store which built a new store behind the old J.W. Robinson’s. The Maison Blanch became Gayfer’s in 1992, while in 1993, JCPenney decided to come in as the fourth anchor store to Orlando Fashion Square, replacing their location at Winter Park Mall. In 1998, Gayfer’s was rebranded to Dillard’s, and around this time, Orlando Fashion Square would get sold to PREIT, whom decided to do an interior renovation to the mall which was completed in 2002. In 2004, a new movie theater come to Orlando Fashion Square Operated by Premiere Cinemas, and in 2005, Burdines would be rebranded to Macy’s. In 2013, PREIT would sell Orlando Fashion Square to UP Development Inc. whom still own the mall to this day. That same year they would add a bowling alley and rebuilt the movie theater. However, problems would start to occur at Orlando Fashion Square when Dillard’s would downgrade their location to a Clearence Center in 2014. Then on August 9th, 2016, Sears would announce plans to close their Orlando Fashion Square location. The Sears building would be demolished in early 2017 and was replaced by Floor & Décor. On June 5th, 2020, JCPenney filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and announced they would be closing 154 underperforming stores nationwide, and the Orlando Fashion Square location was one of those stores on the chopping block. JCPenney officially closed the Fashion Square location on October 18th, 2020. In December 2020, it was announced that redevelopment plans for Orlando Fashion Square Mall have been approved. It is currently unknown at this time when the mall will permanently close, but it will most likely come in the coming months.
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