At a time when several area malls have experienced a decline, Seminole Towne Center is on the rise, and the progress appears to have no end in sight. The 23-year-old Sanford mall is running like a well-oiled machine, clicking on all cylinders.
“We haven’t fallen on hard times like some others,” says Larry Scollo, general manager, attributing a combination of clever management decisions and the support of surrounding communities that fuel the mall’s success. Ownership, taking notice of that success, is pumping $750,000 into new air-conditioning, food court restrooms, and fresh paint so the customer shopping experience continues to flourish.
Larry says a major reason the mall avoided a regression is the alternative and forward-thinking uses employed for mall space. The widely successful 28,000-square-foot Athletic APEX Health Club; Winey Wench Pub (a pirate-ship shaped bar); and Pure Choice Organics, an organic soap-making outlet, are examples of successful transitions that customers embrace.
Seminole Towne Center has also found success by adding regional tenants and local mom-and-pop shops to the mix — 40 in all.
“Local leasing efforts have been extremely important,” says Larry, explaining that tenants are chosen purposefully to cater to the mall’s diverse clientele. Old or young, single or married, affluent or of moderate means, every type of customer is on the minds of Larry’s devoted management staff.
Location plays a key factor in the mall’s steady flow of traffic, as well. The shopping center enjoys the good fortune of being the only area mall that drivers can see from Interstate 4 (or Highway 417 for that matter), and the bonus of easy-on/easy-off access draws its share of highway visitors. Moreover, there are three SunRail stations in close proximity, and the population of Lake Mary, Heathrow, and Sanford keeps growing.
“The more rooftops, the more buildings, the more customers for the mall,” Larry says.
Erica Gutierrez, the mall’s marketing director, adds that Seminole Towne Center also thrives as a family-oriented mall, offering a once-a-month Kids Club, a Mom’s Night Out, and back-to-school events.
“It’s important that we are part of the community,” she says, noting the popular food court, which is 100 percent occupied, is always a big draw for families.
The mall, which consists of more than 120 stores, includes six anchors – Dillard’s, Macy’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, JCPenney, Sears and Burlington – within its 1.1 million square feet of space. Unlike other malls, these major department stores thrive at Seminole Towne Center. The Dillard’s, in fact, is one of the brand’s highest-performing locations in Florida.