Artegon Marketplace Orlando Opens to the Public

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.

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and City Commissioners Samuel Ings and Tony Ortiz participate in the ribbon-cutting

Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and City Commissioners Samuel Ings and Tony Ortiz participate in the ribbon-cutting. | Copyright Orlando Mall Guide 2014

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.

A week prior Thanksgiving and Stupendous Balloons is thankful for the opening of Artegon Marketplace.

A week prior Thanksgiving and Stupendous Balloons is thankful for the opening of Artegon Marketplace. | Copyright Orlando Mall Guide 2014

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.

The break dancers of Street Breakz entertained the crowds of shoppers during the grand opening celebration

The break dancers of Street Breakz entertained the crowds of shoppers during the grand opening celebration. | Copyright Orlando Mall Guide 2014

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.

Hang out on the Artegon SkyTrail Adventure Ropes Course

Hang out on the Artegon SkyTrail Adventure Ropes Course. | Copyright Orlando Mall Guide 2014

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.

Touchscreen directories such as this one at Artegon Marketplace Orlando are the first of its kind for Orlando shopping centers.

Touchscreen directories such as this one at Artegon Marketplace Orlando are the first of its kind for Orlando shopping centers. | Copyright Orlando Mall Guide 2014

Artegon Marketplace Orlando’s tagline is “Experience Unique.” The concept certainly is; make no mistake about it.

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Mark Schaub

My name is Mark and I’m a mall-aholic. As a native Orlandoan, I’ve been visiting them since I can remember. I’ve also worked in a couple and consider myself a self-appointed expert. There’s been a lot of change when it comes metro Orlando’s mall landscape, and I’ve taken it upon myself to chronicle it. Each mall has a story to tell, and having graduated from the University of Central Florida and double majored in journalism and radio/television, I feel I’m best equipped to make those stories come alive here at Orlando Mall Guide. So whether you’re a local or a tourist needing a shopping break from the attractions, I’m your hookup.