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Orlando Fashion Square [Renovation in Progress]

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42 minutes ago, Uncommon said:

https://bungalower.com/2019/04/29/unicorp-to-demo-fashion-square-mall/

Looks like demolition is one step closer to happening. A deposit has been made to demo the entire building. That’s great news, because simply remodeling won’t work; it needs to all come down. The article states that negotiations will soon be in place to jettison Macy’s and JC Penny, two of the tenants currently NOT struggling, with the hope that they can lure them back after demolition and rebuilding. I hope they can be lured back, as I think it would be very cool to have shopping alongside apartments, hotels, bowling, restaurants, and a movie theatre. If they add a grocery store, Fashion Square could literally be a one-stop ship for just about everything.

I’m sort of new to this urban mindset. Do you all agree that would be a net positive? Or is it just a beefed up version of Waterford Lakes (which I love, but most everyone here hates)?

Let me first say that I’m glad it’s Unicorp. Chuck’s local and cares about what he’s doing, not just stuffing his bank account. It will be a quality redo if he can take possession of the structure.

Having said that, if macy’s or JCPenney stay there, they won’t go downtown. Since Penney is now targeting middle-age women as their prime demographic, Downtown wouldn’t work all that well for them (assuming they survive at all, which is still up in the air).

macy’s, on the other hand, could do well downtown.

Whether it’s Colonial Plaza, Winter Park Village, Fowler Groves or St. John’s Town Center in Jacksonville (which also has upscale retail like Nordstrom), all of them are variations on suburban themes. Altamonte Mall, which City planners have gone to great lengths to make more urban, is still auto-oriented.

If we want true urban, Downtown is where it’s going to happen. The more retail on East Colonial, the less there will be downtown (it already killed retail there once).

I wish it weren’t so, but in the age of e-commerce there’s only so much retail to go around. We need what there is downtown, either adjoining UCF/Valencia or on the Sentinel site.

Because chain retailers are herd animals, trying to get them to spread out around downtown in the various ground floors of towers and garages hasn’t worked and I suspect that’s not going to change.

Fashion Square is too close to downtown for just about anyone but Publix and the drug stores to duplicate locations. Which do you prefer?

 

 

 

 

Edited by spenser1058
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I’d be surprised if anything went downtown. Retail is scarce as it is, so I can’t see any big box stores be willing to relocate by themselves as a stand-alone. Most of these stores in Orlando seem like they prefer to be in strip malls or in plazas. I can’t tell if downtown retail is just a hope among us Urbanplaneteers or if it has ANY shot at ever happening. Of course I’d prefer it to be downtown, but I’d be shocked if downtown Orlando ever got a large retailer like Macy’s.

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41 minutes ago, Uncommon said:

I’d be surprised if anything went downtown. Retail is scarce as it is, so I can’t see any big box stores be willing to relocate by themselves as a stand-alone. Most of these stores in Orlando seem like they prefer to be in strip malls or in plazas. I can’t tell if downtown retail is just a hope among us Urbanplaneteers or if it has ANY shot at ever happening. Of course I’d prefer it to be downtown, but I’d be shocked if downtown Orlando ever got a large retailer like Macy’s.

It could happen (and has happened in places like Austin and Greenville, SC) but the city would have to step up like they did for Publix and the movie theater (which supposedly couldn’t work downtown, either, until they did). As long as Thomas Chatmon is running the DDB, it’s not going to happen. One more reason to move into the post-Buddy era (but with better candidates than are currently on offer).

Also keep in mind that retailers are slimming down in this new era so whatever is built, whether it’s a macy’s, a Target or a Nordstrom (their newest LA stores have no inventory at all) will definitely be smaller.

Edited by spenser1058

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The new prototype Olive Garden opens this week at Fashion Square. The new building featuring stone facades and soaring glass windows suggest a move upscale for “McItalian”.

The new store replaces what was OG’s second oldest location. The two-story original on I-Drive was demolished several years ago.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/os-bz-olive-garden-new-design-restaurant-20190506-story.html

From the Sentinel 

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11 minutes ago, spenser1058 said:

The new prototype Olive Garden opens this week at Fashion Square. The new building featuring stone facades and soaring glass windows suggest a move upscale for “McItalian”.

The new store replaces what was OG’s second oldest location. The two-story original on I-Drive was demolished several years ago.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/os-bz-olive-garden-new-design-restaurant-20190506-story.html

From the Sentinel 

I like it!!!!

newolivegarden.jpg

Makes me want to go there.

Not necessarily to go in and eat, just go there to be near it.... :wub:

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1 hour ago, spenser1058 said:

The new prototype Olive Garden opens this week at Fashion Square. The new building featuring stone facades and soaring glass windows suggest a move upscale for “McItalian”.

The new store replaces what was OG’s second oldest location. The two-story original on I-Drive was demolished several years ago.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/os-bz-olive-garden-new-design-restaurant-20190506-story.html

From the Sentinel 

Soaring glass windows for your Italian inspired view of........um Pollo Tropical, Colonial, and an abandoned HHGregg.  Viva Italia!

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1 hour ago, JFW657 said:

I like it!!!!

newolivegarden.jpg

Makes me want to go there.

Not necessarily to go in and eat, just go there to be near it.... :wub:

good for Darden...ya know...

That does look awesome.  More trees would be nice...  The Olive Garden next to DnB is huge.  I went there a few times this past year with friends and it was not bad menu-wise.

So now they'll probably tear down the old location.  part of the redevelopment plan?  I'm sure...

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The new prototype Olive Garden opens this week at Fashion Square. The new building featuring stone facades and soaring glass windows suggest a move upscale for “McItalian”.
The new store replaces what was OG’s second oldest location. The two-story original on I-Drive was demolished several years ago.
http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/os-bz-olive-garden-new-design-restaurant-20190506-story.html
From the Sentinel 

Which “Tuscan-style” OG near Fashion Square was knocked down last year? Isn’t the OG OG elsewhere in the Fashion Square parking lot still standing and open for business until this new location opens?

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37 minutes ago, orlandoguy said:


Which “Tuscan-style” OG near Fashion Square was knocked down last year? Isn’t the OG OG elsewhere in the Fashion Square parking lot still standing and open for business until this new location opens?

The Fashion Square Olive Garden is in front of Macy's.  The property doesn't even have the same owners as the old OG.  The OG on I-drive was never demolished either.  Its just been heavily modified, but it still stands

Original Olive Garden on I-drive

Edited by codypet
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14 hours ago, JFW657 said:

As I recall, Olive Gardens used to look like bunkers.

Low and squatty.

The Fashion Square OG definitely sat low on the lot. As codypet notes, they do have a fondness for heart-stopping parking lot views.

One of my best friends back in the ‘80’s always insisted we go to the Fashion Square OG (when I would have much preferred Two Flights Up, Buckets or even Bakerstreet, just to name three) because he found it had one of the cruisiest wait staffs in town and it was easy to score a date - but I digress...

Edited by spenser1058
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Talking about The Olive Garden always reminds me of this video from around 15 years or so ago, by one of the original "YouTube stars"....

Pretty funny, I thought.

I hear she became a millionaire from her YouTube videos.

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5 hours ago, JFW657 said:

I like it!!!!

newolivegarden.jpg

Makes me want to go there.

Not necessarily to go in and eat, just go there to be near it.... :wub:

Take a visit, marvel at the architecture, then go eat at Stasio's.

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48 minutes ago, smileguy said:

Take a visit, marvel at the architecture, then go eat at Stasio's.

Stasio's is awesome!  

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The Fashion Square Olive Garden is in front of Macy's.  The property doesn't even have the same owners as the old OG.  The OG on I-drive was never demolished either.  Its just been heavily modified, but it still stands
Original Olive Garden on I-drive

I was referring to the Sentinel article. It says a Fashion Square OG was demolished last year, but I don’t know what they’re talking about. The FS location has continued to operate in anticipation of the new location opening.
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11 hours ago, spenser1058 said:

The Fashion Square OG definitely sat low on the lot. As codypet notes, they do have a fondness for heart-stopping parking lot views.

One of my best friends back in the ‘80’s always insisted we go to the Fashion Square OG (when I would have much preferred Two Flights Up, Buckets or even Bakerstreet, just to name three) because he found it had one of the cruisiest wait staffs in town and it was easy to score a date - but I digress...)

Apparently everything was on the menu back in those days. I've been known to slide my number to a waitor or two, but it was totally innocent I swear  :shades:

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Have been inside for a peek.

Differing opinions of the newish aesthetics aside, the place looks like it will be a fairly 'meh' if not awful experience. Almost everything has a hard surface; the chairs are narrow and hard with little padding, there are fewer real tables and chairs, replaced with a lot of counter stools and table tops [ugh!], and the place echos quite a bit - not much to absorb the sound. With a room full of people the din is going to be headache-inducing.

It looks and feels and sounds a lot more like an Applebee's or a Chili's than a mid to upper-mid-market casual Italian restaurant. It looks more like a place where you throw the peanut shells onto the floor as you order a round of sizzling bacon jalapeno poppers for the table than a place for a  pleasant, casual, quiet, sit-down Italian dinner.

The OG that is being replaced has been in need of a complete renovation for a decade or more, but with this new design it seems clear that Darden is trying to change the habits and behavior of their target demo if not outright trying to attract a new demo entirely. Less 'quiet family dinner-night out' and more 'meeting the guys after leaving the office for a few beers' fast-casual.

Edited by Camillo Sitte
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It's going to look great driving past on Colonial Dr though. The exterior compliments the Longhorn Steaks, which I also like. I'm happy they both look that way.

They also both look a lot like the former Orchid Supply in Winter Park, which is the type of design I was hoping they were planning on using (but they weren't) at the never completed FS location.

Had OS been designed that way (and not gotten shut down), and with all three places following that same general exterior motif, I'd have been in stone veneer heaven!!! 

I seriously think I might have gone there once a week or so, just to hang around. Maybe have lunch at OG or LS then buy something I didn't particularly need at OS. 

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On 5/6/2019 at 6:39 PM, spenser1058 said:

The Fashion Square OG definitely sat low on the lot. As codypet notes, they do have a fondness for heart-stopping parking lot views.

One of my best friends back in the ‘80’s always insisted we go to the Fashion Square OG (when I would have much preferred Two Flights Up, Buckets or even Bakerstreet, just to name three) because he found it had one of the cruisiest wait staffs in town and it was easy to score a date - but I digress...

Olive Garden is the punchline of hipster jokes, and I know people who go there just for the unlimited breadsticks and irony, but it is never lost on me that the 2ND OLIVE GARDEN IN THE WORLD was a hub of my teenage life (along with the Chi Chi's on Maguire and the Peaches down the street).  It was a big deal when it opened.  My parents even took me there after my high school graduation ceremony!  I never picked up on the cruisiness, but I was a bit clueless about those things well into my early 20's.  

Edited by jliv
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One of my oldest friends, who I knew when I was in my teens over in Brevard prior to moving over here, was a waiter there for about a year or so, back around '85 or '86. All of his "cruising" (that I knew about anyway) was directed towards the young waitresses who worked there.

I remember him telling me how, when that Aretha Franklin song "Who's Zoomin' Who?" was popular around then, they'd go around singing "Who's Screwin' Who?" about the situation there.

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On 5/6/2019 at 12:31 PM, codypet said:

Soaring glass windows for your Italian inspired view of........um Pollo Tropical, Colonial, and an abandoned HHGregg.  Viva Italia!

So in a patch of irony, my nephew graduated high school this weekend he wanted to eat at this Olive Garden on Saturday after his ceremony.  The place was mobbed and they had given us the seat at the big window since we had a big party.  The food was typical Olive Garden, but I really could admire the view of Pollo Tropical.

Edited by codypet
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