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Grand plan unveiled for Fashion Mall site

Tue Apr 1, 2003 by on Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Grand plan unveiled for Fashion Mall site

By Jerry Berrios
Email: jberrios@herald.com

After it stood empty for almost a decade and plans to resurrect it failed, Hollywood’s old Fashion Mall is poised to become a shopping and family entertainment center.

Among the future amenities: up to 2,000 booths, kiosks and shops; two food courts, a roughly 35,000 square-foot farmer’s market, valet parking, a day-care center and a family entertainment center complete with a two-story carousel from Argentina.

Millennium Development Enterprises, a Weston-based real estate company, signed a 60-year, $35 million lease in mid-March with Hollywood Fashion Mall, Inc. to redevelop and manage the nearly 1 million square-foot property at the corner of U.S. 441 and Hollywood Boulevard.

The property is called The Millennium Hollywood’s City Place, and its first phase is scheduled to open Oct. 1.

”We are going to create a destination. . . like Walt Disney parks in Orlando or Sawgrass in Sunrise,” said Ignacio Martinez Jr., Millennium’s chairman. “The people will come because they want to have a full day’s experience here.”

Martinez Jr. estimates the site at 5800 Hollywood Blvd., will get 5-to-5.5 million visitors a year.

Plans include shuttles from the Tri-Rail station in Hollywood, Port Everglades, the Port of Miami, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Miami International Airport.

If the new ideas sound familiar, that’s because the property’s current owners, Hollywood Fashion Mall Inc., once envisioned something similar. The location was once known as the Hollywood Fashion Mall, anchored by four major department stores.

Soon after the shopping center closed in 1993, Hollywood Fashion Mall, Inc. purchased the property, renamed it the Hollywood Super Mall, and announced plans to reopen it as an outlet shopping center. Despite those grand plans, nothing ever materialized, largely due to unresolved complex business and legal issues.

The property took so long to develop because it is a major financial investment and was embroiled in lawsuits, said Stuart L. Litvin, president of the Hollywood Business Council.

”This would be a perfect part of the puzzle,” Litvin said. “It would show the investment and the development community that even during the uncertain times. . . that people are still investing and interested in Hollywood.

Martinez Jr., Millennium’s chairman, is confident his company can succeed where others have not. He has developed shopping centers, office buildings, and condominiums in Weston, Parkland and Hallandale. His family has owned and managed the three largest flea markets in Caracas, Venezuela.

Their plan encompasses four phases over six years. When they open Oct. 1, they estimate they will have 700 vendors. About 50 vendors have signed up already. The leasing office officially opens Monday.

”We have been doing this for 20 years in Venezuela,” said Ignacio Martinez Sr., father of the company’s chairman and senior vice president for The Millennium Hollywood’s City Place. “. . . We have a lot of experience. We know what we are doing.”

Mayor Mara Giulianti said she is “ecstatic.”

”It’s an extremely important property. I used to refer to the [Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa] and the Fashion Mall as the bookends of Hollywood,” Giulianti said.

Roy Oppenheim, an attorney for Millennium, said the location is perfect — in the middle of the Miami Dade-Broward commercial corridor and close to the future Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Resort and Florida’s Turnpike.

”There is a nostalgic component to the people who grew up here,” Oppenheim said. “It has a history that is bound with the growth and development of South Florida. It was the place and it will be again.”

The project is estimated to create 2,500 new jobs, along with more commercial activity, revenue to the city and revenue to the owners, Oppenheim said.

”It will improve property values in the community,” he said.

Millennium’s top executives realize the property doesn’t have a terrific track record.

”We are the new kids on the block,” Martinez Jr. said. “We came here to change this property — to make it a fun experience for all our visitors.”

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Oppenheim Pilelsky is Weston’s most established law firm concentrating its practice in consumer litigation, real estate, business, insurance and Internet-related matters, and select cases concerning personal injury, wrongful death and medical malpractice. The firm is located at: 1290 Weston Road, Suite 300, Weston, FL 33326 (954) 384-6114 and at a second office at 100 Tampa Street, Tampa, Florida. Roy Oppenheim is also founder and principal of Weston Title and Escrow named as one of the 100 top attorney-owned and operated title firms by Attorneys Title Insurance. Websites: Oppenheim Pilelsky (www.oppenheimlaw.com) Weston Title (www.westontitle.com) Millennium Group (www.millenniumfla.com).

Press Contacts: Todd Templin or Paul Carson at Boardroom Communications, 954-370-8999, both for Oppenheim Pilelsky.