SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – The Oviedo City Council voted unanimously to approve plans for a vacant Macy's store to be demolished. The plan calls for the construction of several hundred apartment units.
The developer plans to use the 15 acres plot of land at the Oviedo Mall to build 250 market-rate apartments, 175 units for ages 55 and up, as well as 124 hotel rooms.
Kevin Hipes is the general manager of the Oviedo Mall and told News 6 that the project will help bring new life to the retail center.
"I think it was fantastic," said Hipes. "I feel it's been a very unified group tonight and you know I've done a lot of talk on Facebook about this, but I think the reality is, it just makes a lot of sense."
There were some concerns the development would increase traffic in the area, but the council said that their research suggested there would not be a traffic increase.
"To have a place you can live, work and play. So, it's really to keep the trips of traffic on the property. Some people will live there, go to the theater, go to the restaurant, shop and then can walk home, not create traffic," said Hipes.
Antonio Kolaci owns CupPasta and Pizza inside the mall's food court. He said that many small business owners like him welcome the project.
"I think it's just amazing to have the opportunity to whoever is in the mall now and spend so much money in the mall, you know to make a living, that they consider that too."
The Oviedo Mall said construction could begin in six months.