A property makeover. Months in the making. Makers coming together.
Artegon Marketplace Orlando opened today in the spot once occupied by Festival Bay Mall on International Drive. That will probably be the last time its predecessor ever gets mentioned after taking one look at Artegon Marketplace. They are worlds apart.
Paragon Outlet Partners purchased the property and redeveloped it into an artisan marketplace featuring more than 165 studio spaces selling art, jewelry, food, you name it. You won’t find an Express or a Macy’s here. Instead, Central Florida’s finest craftspeople have set-up shop offering one-of-a-kind items you can’t get at any of the other malls.
All-natural soap? Florida Soap Company has you covered. Planning a birthday? Stupendous Ballons can create a life-sized character made of latex. Tired of the same ol’ hot sauce? Make your own at Poca’s Hottest, or pick from one of her vast concoctions.
By opening a week before the holiday shopping season, Artegon Marketplace has made it easy for you to find a gift for someone that you can’t find anywhere else.
But the assortment of artisan sellers (collectively known as The Village at Artegon Marketplace) is only one piece of the puzzle. Anchor tenants like Bass Pro Shop, Cinemark Theaters, Ron Jon Surf Shop and Sheplers Western Stores have stayed in place and await to the be flanked by Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill and Berghoff’s Oktoberfest opening at later dates. And you can’t leave out Gods & Monsters for, when it opens, it will be the nation’s second largest comic book and collectibles store and third largest in the world.
And for children and adults alike, there’s the Artegon SkyTrail Adventure Ropes Course. Find yourself suspended nearly 40 feet in the air as you maneuver the variations of strung ropes, cables and boards. The best way to end the adventure is the Quick Jump in which you descend straight to the ground.
The building is very open from the main entrance lobby to the concourse to the shops themselves. You see, rather than be separated by wall partitions, grates line the studios enabling visitors to see right in and behind and every which way. It suggests an environment without barriers for the vendors, their customers and the shopping experience as a whole. The result is very personal and human.
Other notables include the number of parking spaces (5,800 and free, no less, which isn’t a given on I-Drive), the option for valet parking, touch-screen directories (the first shopping center in Orlando to feature them) and the soon-to-come trampoline park, Sky Zone, set to open in 2015.
Artegon Marketplace Orlando’s tagline is “Experience Unique.” The concept certainly is; make no mistake about it.