Anyone who has been to Walt Disney World in the last two decades has likely had an experience in the Crossroads Shopping Center at some point or another, but it is all about to come to an end. Within the next two years, the iconic center outside of Disney Springs will close down for good as serious work on the I-4 Beyond the Ultimate expansion begins, and it will call for the buildings to be demolished. Tenants have been given 18 months to vacate the premises entirely.
Many of those who have been in the Walt Disney World College Program, or simply visited the major theme parks over the last two decades, have likely visited Crossroads. It’s become quite well-known, even though a number of tenants have come and gone over the years.
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) is currently negotiating to buy the Crossroads of Lake Buena Vista shopping center, according to Growth Spotter, and they have the lone appraisal of $145 million. Plans for the purchase of the location were first reported back in 2016, but things have truly sped up in the last year.
Tenants have now been told that they need to vacate their buildings within 18 months and construction on the I-4 Beyond the Ultimate widening project will begin for the 2020 fiscal year.
— GrowthSpotter (@orlandogrowth) April 5, 2018
It is expected that drainage ponds will be built on the site of the shopping center and those are set to accommodate a new interchange design at State Road 535 in the right-of-way portion of I-4 Beyond the Ultimate.
Currently, the main piece of the Crossroad Shopping Center is the Goodings supermarket, which opened in 1998. There is also a TGI Friday’s, Johnnie’s Hideaway, Red Lobster, Tom & Chee, and numerous other restaurants. Other businesses in the complex include McDonald’s, Perkin’s, and the ever-popular Pirate’s Cove mini-golf.
There have been numerous other businesses, and one of the most popular was Jungle Jim’s, which closed back in late 2006.
Pirate’s Cove Mini Golf is more than fun in the sun – The adventures and legends of infamous pirates come to life in an award-winning theme park settings! Score a hole in one with tickets from #TicketApe: https://t.co/ttxTZpRZof pic.twitter.com/B1xcW9XwHk
— TicketApe (@Ticket_Ape) February 17, 2018
It is possible that some businesses may be approved for compensation from the state under the eminent domain law in Florida, but nothing has been confirmed as of yet. Some locations may just close up entirely or look to locate elsewhere in Orlando, but they have a mere 18 months to be out and shut down in their current locations.
Walt Disney World is surrounded by numerous businesses and restaurants, but the Crossroads of Lake Buena Vista shopping center is one that many guests, locals, and fans will miss after it closes for good.