Development on former Miracle City Mall site could have tenants by Christmas 2014

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BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. —

A developer is expected to build over the old Miracle City Mall site on US-1.

County leaders are considering spending millions of tax dollars to get the project off the ground.

The $51 million investment would have medical offices, restaurants, retail stores and a movie theater.

The project developer said it would create about 900 jobs and $1.8 million in sales tax revenue a year.

Some parts of the Titusville eyesore have sat vacant for so long, grass is growing in portions of the parking lot and plants are sprouting from the rooftops.

The old JC Penney used to be part of Titusville resident Denise Cloninger's lunch breaks.

Even though the store closed a year ago, she still makes it a habit to stop by, except those lunch breaks are often spent in her Jeep in an empty parking lot often used as a cut-through for cars.

Cloninger said she'd like to be able to shop there again someday.

"Other counties are getting our money, which we could very well have it here," Cloninger said.

The developer released renderings in July.

Brevard County has to spend some money of its own: $6.5 million to tear the existing buildings down, improve the underground utilities and roadways.

Critics told county commissioners Tuesday it's not money well spent.

"We have $6.5 million for a private developer with a pie-in-the-sky project for the Miracle City Mall and we have all these alleged capital needs," Scott Ellis of the Brevard County Clerk of Court said.

The developer hopes to have the first tenants moved in by Christmas 2014.