TITUSVILLE, Fla. - Boarded up and riddled with trash, the Miracle City Mall has been an eyesore for folks in Titusville for years and residents say they're excited to finally see some change.
Tuesday afternoon, Brevard County commissioners gave preliminary approval to move forward with the demolition of the closed-down mall.
The mall has been officially vacant since early February when its last tenant, JC Penny's, couldn't stay in business.
The $6.5 million that was approved today is coming from property tax revenue and will also be used for design and engineering work, parking, sidewalks, landscaping and utility improvements.
"It's disappointing that there is no shopping here. People go elsewhere and we want to keep them here," said Louann Smith, owner of Space Coast Ice Cream.
Smith's store is directly across the street from the run-down mall. She says she's anxious to get the $61 million make-over started.
She said, "We've been here for three and half years and I feel like there's a lot of people in Titusville that are still missing out on our great ice cream."
Renderings show what Tampa-based developer Allen Goins has in store for the revitalized open-air mall. According to officials, the 300,000 plus square-foot facility will have 5 main retail stores with several smaller specialty shops sprinkled in, as well as, a movie theater, supermarket, medical offices, and a bank.
"I'd love the day where my family could, on a Sunday or Saturday afternoon when we're doing errands, be able to stay in the town that we live," said Matthew Barringer, a Titusville resident.
Jim Bakos lives across the street from the Miracle City Mall and said, "This is probably going to be the best thing to happen to Titusville because Titusville is a beautiful city, I love being here and I can't wait."
As of right now, there are no commitments from potential tenants, but officials say they will likely be lined up when financing is finalized.
Developers hope to open the Miracle City Towne Center in November of 2014.
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