The owner of Leesburg's former Lake Square Mall, renamed Via Port Florida earlier this year, has renewed AMC Theaters with a $6 million renovation promised by the lessee, added new tenants in recent months, will open its 30,000-square-foot Fun Zone in October and eyes out-parcel site work by January, a lead executive told GrowthSpotter.
Turkish developer Via Port Properties bought the 560,000-square-foot mall in September 2014 from New York-based Kohan Retail Investment Group for $13.28 million.
The company quickly invested an initial $2 million in cleanup and repairs this year, installed a new floor in the food court, a fountain in front of the Belk department store, and an 80-foot-tall LED sign added at the entrance.
The new Fun Zone will include 22 bowling lanes, a 5,000-square-foot arcade, two party rooms and a restaurant and bar operated by Vincent Vittoria, owner of Cousin Vinnie's Chicken Wings in Leesburg.
The mall will have another 57,000 square feet of space in the former Target store to redevelop after Fun Zone occupies the first 30,000 square feet, said Fuat Agsak, business development director for Via Port Florida, from his booth Monday at ICSC Florida Conference & Deal Making at the Orange County Convention Center.
SpiritHalloween will open within a few weeks as a seasonal tenant through October in part of the 73,000-square-foot former J.C. Penney store. Agsak said Via Port is in advanced talks with a national tenant to lease that space.
The company expects to break ground in early 2016 on five to seven new out-parcels that could range from 3,000 to 7,000 square feet each, and is negotiating with several national tenants, Agsak said. The number and size of the out-parcels may change, because one national retailer eying the J.C. Penney store may require no out-parcels along its front as part of a deal, he added.
Notable lease renewals in recent months include AMC Theaters, which will begin a $6 million renovation in 2016, along with T-Mobile, which will move to a new space six times the size of its previously leased area, Agsak said.
New leases at the mall in recent months include Cupcake Time Cafe, which relocated from downtown Leesburg, Divine Belgian Chocolates of Clermont, and Cappadocia Arts, a Turkish home furnishings store whose owner is relocating from Istanbul to open his family's first store outside Turkey, at Via Port Florida.