Lightstone, Paragon Take 750,000-SF Festival Bay
- Feb 18, 2011
February 18, 2011
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor
Festival Bay Mall, a 750,000-square-foot shopping center in Orlando, has come under new ownership, and a mere $25 million was the sales price. The Lightstone Group joined forces with Paragon Outlet Partners to purchase the property, which sits near the teeming tourist hub that includes Universal Studios, Sea World and Walt Disney World.
Developed by Belz Enterprises in 2003, Festival Bay occupies 139 acres along International Dr. and features a group of anchors ranging from Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World to Cinemark 20 Theatres to Vans Skatepark. Despite the popular names on the tenant roster and a location within reach of tourism traffic, by all accounts Festival Bay is struggling. It’s troubles, however, come as little surprise given the current state of the retail market in Orlando. The vacancy rate maintained a steady climb throughout 2010, reaching 27.2 percent by year’s end, according to a report by commercial real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield Inc.
But market experts have faith that a turnaround is possible for Festival Bay. As per the report, “Sustained high occupancy in the outlet space that benefits from the tourist market has been joined by the promise of new ownership at Festival Bay.”
Sky-high vacancies or no, it appears Lightstone and Paragon got a good deal on Festival Bay; the shopping center’s current assessed value is $39.9 million, as per Orange County records.