Sunday, June 10, 2012

Orlando mall to raze Dixie Stampede for more stores

By Sandra Pedicini, Orlando Sentinel

Simon Property Group wants to raze Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede dinner theater to expand its nearby Orlando Premium Outlets mall.

Orange County recently reviewed plans for the project, which will add 100,000 square feet to the 550,000-square foot complex across Vineland Avenue. Two buildings will be added.

Simon must make some technical changes to its application before getting final approval, county planning administrator John Smogor said. Simon has not yet purchased the property but is expected to close on it soon.

Construction should start this year with new stores opening in 2013, a spokeswoman said in an email. They will include Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th.

Dixie Stampede abruptly closed in 2008. A flea market briefly moved in, but other than that the 115,000-square-foot building off Interstate 4 has stood empty.

At the time it closed, Orlando Premium Outlets said it had a contract on the property and Dixie Stampede said it had an offer too good to turn down. But the deal fell apart, and Dixie Stampede never reopened as it had originally planned.

Last year, Simon said it planned to expand several properties around the U.S. including Orlando Premium Outlets, but did not give details at the time.

Orlando Premium Outlets – Vineland Ave. is considered one of the top performers in the shopping-center industry, generating sales of $1,300 per square foot.

Mall and outlet centers typically generate sales anywhere from $500 to $1,000 a square foot.

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