Developers have big plans for dying Titusville mall

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TITUSVILLE, Fla. - Plans are moving forward to tear down and redevelop a desolate mall in Titusville.

The Miracle City Mall is in the process of being purchased by a Tampa-area developer who wants to turn it into the Miracle City Towne Centre.

The developer hopes to have the deal finalized by the end of the year. That will be after the final tenants are gone. Those tenants include a JC Penney store which is closing Saturday.

"This used to be the place to be," said Titusville resident Bill Gratton. "You did your Christmas shopping here. There was a Thom McAn, a McCrory, Belk Lindsey and you had the Penneys."

That was before the loss of thousands of space shuttle jobs and a recession.

Now the mall has just three tenants. Soon there will be none.

Dave's hot dog stand<should hot dog stand be capitalized?> is another tenant closing on Saturday. It has been a staple at the mall for four decades.

"I grew up in Titusville. We used to come to the mall when I was little. It was a place to hang out," said Lesley McAvoy.

AG Development Group and its partner, EXXCEL Project Management, are working on the redevelopment plan for the mall.

Developers said they envision five to seven anchor tenants, restaurants, boutiques, medical offices and central space for concerts and festivals.

They said they hope to close on the property by the end of the year.

"It's better than leaving it sitting here like it is," said Gratton.

Representatives with the Brevard County and the city of Titusville said they don't see leaving the building as it currently sits as as an option. They said they have made redevelopment of the once-bustling mall a top priority.

After Saturday, the last remaining tenant will be the United National Travel Bureau. That business will be relocating to the Searstown Mall.