Thread regarding Sears layoffs

Sears Closing At Orlando Fashion Square, Laying Off 88

Sears will close its Orlando Fashion Square store after more than five decades and lay off 88 workers at the department store, the company confirmed Tuesday.

The landlord intends to tear down the property and replace it with an Orchard Supply Hardware store and Floor the Sears had been built independently ten years before. The mall has had its ups and downs.

One of the anchors, Dillard's, converted from a full-time department store into a part-time clearance center and other tenants have left. But a new bowling alley and arcade have helped draw new visitors. It's a rare example of a surviving urban mall, has been subject to numerous efforts to revive the area.

For example, a developer this year filed a plan to build 358 new apartments, tying the Cady Way Trail and Baldwin Park into one of the city's oldest shopping districts. The apartments would border the mall on its northeast side, at the southeast corner of Maguire Boulevard and McCullough Avenue.

The city has targeted the area around Fashion Square for more apartments because it is two miles from downtown and other high-demand corridors such as Audubon and Baldwin parks, said chief city planner Jason Burton.

Alexan is the latest project in the Fashion Square area after a D--k's Sporting Goods was finished in late 2014. The mall owner, UP Development, is also planning a 150-room Westin Element hotel.

UP has been working to repurpose the properties around Orlando Fashion Square since purchasing it in 2013 for $35 million.

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