Titusville Mall Update: What’s the Real Deal?
By Robin Fisher, D1 Brevard County Commissioner // December 30, 2014
‘Once the City Approves the Building Permits You Will See A Lot of Positive Movement Towards A November Black Friday Opening’
Over the last six months I have been quiet about making any additional statements about the status of the mall, because we realized that everything we said or any date or comment we put out there we were being criticized for not making it.
I was being held accountable for the timelines of the project, regardless of why we were or not meeting those time lines. I have purposely not responded to any hearsay or negative comments.
I realized very early that a lot of people didn’t know what they were talking about and most have had no clue how difficult this project is.
Exxcel Project Management and Allen Goins are not only financially committed to the success of this mall, but they have put their reputation on the line in making sure this deal happens.
And there is no one more determined than I am to make sure this project happens. So as we move into 2015 let me put some rumors to rest about the status of Titus Landing.
So Here Is the Real Deal On the Mall:
This has been an extremely difficult project. There are a lot of dynamics that go into putting a deal together of this magnitude. My office has worked constantly with the developer and the potential retailers.
We have met with several top retailers in my County Commission Office such as representatives for Dick’s Sporting Goods, Hobby Lobby, Beall’s Department Store, HH Gregg Electronics, Ulta, Neighborhood Market, TJ Maxx, Home Goods and Belk’s just to name a few.
We have attended conferences and tried to talk to every retailer you can imagine. Now that the economy is rebounding, several of the large retailers have finalized their growth plans for 2015.
While Titusville was not a market that many retailers were looking at on their own, we have introduced them to our community and this project and have been working with them so they can understand this market and demographic.
We have had to defend a lot of those demographics and the unique dynamics this community has faced over the last five years.
I am proud to say we have impacted how they feel about North Brevard. Because of my team’s efforts, (Holly Woolsey and Troy Post) along with the developer’s team, there are some retailers now willing to take a chance on Titusville.
The developer has applied for and should be granted a demolition permit from the City of Titusville and you will see the removal of asbestos and other hazardous things being removed from the inside of the buildings. This is probably going to take 30 days or so!
Then you will see more equipment gather on the site for the buildings to be demolished. I do not expect the first building to come down before mid-February.
Yes, we still plan on having a mall demo party.
We always knew this project would be done in two phases, as of today we will be applying for Phase 1 engineering permits the week of January 5, that’s if we do not get any more site plan changes from potential retailers.
One of the challenging issues we are faced with is as our marketing efforts with the retailer start to materialize, we are asked to fit them on the site and that creates issues because we have to modify the site plan and engineering drawings multiple times.
Each time you make a change on the site plan, you have to recalculate the open space rule that the City has which is 25 percent and you have to meet new parking requirements.
This is part of the reason it is taking so long to do this project. We were hoping to submit for permits two weeks ago. A new tenant has verbally committed and one tenant is asking for additional site plan changes so the engineers are back to the drawing board. This in a way is a first class problem, but it also causes delays.
Phase 1 will consist of about two-thirds of the entire redevelopment. We will be using 21 acres of the 32 acres for 190,000k square feet of buildings. At this time you will see an investment of about $25 million into our city.
Once the city approves the building permits you will see a lot of positive movement towards a November Black Friday opening. If our marketing efforts continue, I think we could start Phase 2 of this project right of way.
We are not going to announce any tenants that have committed to the site until we have some permits in hand from the city and we are respecting the retailer’s wishes as to when the appropriate time to make official announcements.
Since Facebook is the place where most of the rumors have started we thought it would be appropriate to tell you the Real Deal on Facebook.
While some sit around and criticize who the tenants will be and what they don’t like about the project, we will go back to work January 1 to make sure that we take the largest eyesore sitting at the heart of our community and do everything we can to redevelop that site.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Robin L. Fisher was elected to the Brevard County Board of County Commissioners in November 2008 and was elected to serve as Vice-Chair in November 2009 and Chair in 2011. Commissioner Fisher was re-elected to the Board in November 2012.
His previous public service includes Palm Bay City Council, Titusville City Council and Vice-Mayor of Titusville.
Fisher has also served on the Brevard Community College Board of Trustees, the Brevard County Development Commission and the Titusville Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.