Fashion Mall's Multimillion-Dollar Makeover Begins

, Daily Business Review

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Work crews are on the ground at Plantation's long-vacant Fashion Mall, starting a multimillion-dollar facelift to reposition the failed shopping center as a bustling mixed-used development with branded hotel, conference center, condominium tower and top-tier office space.

The developer, US Capital Holdings Group, started work in January on a $10 million project to convert an office tower on the site from Class B to Class A space.

Crews have spent weeks working on the lobby and common areas, installing new finishes, elevators, air-conditioning systems, new technology and upgrading the parking garages.

The goal is to start leasing the upgraded space in the seven-story building at market rates and have tenants in by the first quarter of 2015.

The new space will target multinational, national, and regional corporations, said US Capital Holdings LLC CEO Wei Chen.

"We always felt the area was underserved," said Grace He, COO of US Capital Holdings LLC.

The once-luxury mall crumbled during the economic downturn, facing a series of hurdles, including multiple foreclosure suits between 2007 and 2012. It has been vacant since 2008.

But US Capital Holdings executives say a strengthening economy, shifting demographics and consumer demand for walkable communities that combine retail, commercial and residential components justify redeveloping the former shopping center north of the Broward Mall and Interstate 595.

"We believe market conditions have improved substantially," said John Tombari, director of construction.

And this month, starting with the office tower, US Capital plans to convert the site into a $300 million lifestyle center with retail, dining, entertainment, cultural centers, office space and about 600 condos, according to promotional information for the development, now rebranded 321 North.

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