Updated throughout. The Florida Department of Transportation has made an offer to buy the Crossroads at Lake Buena Vista shopping center, with the intention to demolish it for an Interstate 4 expansion, according to local news reports.
The Orlando Business Journal reports that FDOT has made an offer of about $146 million to the owners of the 155,597-square-foot shopping center, which includes tenants such as Red Lobster, Uno Pizzeria & Grill and the last Gooding's supermarket.
FDOT has started an ambitious I-4 expansion project called I-4 Beyond the Ultimate (that name!) with the hope of improving traffic flow on Central Florida's most popular roadway.
The Crossroads purchase would give the state more room to expand the interstate and reconfigure the interchange with State Road 535, which as many visitors and residents know, can be one the nastiest traffic snarls in Orlando's tourist corridor.
But what visitors and Disney cast members who frequent the area might enjoy with a smoother interchange, they will lose in no longer having a convenient grocery store and shops located at the end of the Walt Disney World Resort's Hotel Plaza Blvd.
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Note from the editor: Our original version of this story referenced a tweet from the Orlando Sentinel's Growthspotter publication, as well as a 2016 article from the Sentinel. We pulled our story after a Sentinel editor sent us a cease-and-desist letter insisting that we had no right to reference their publicly posted tweet.
We disagree with that assessment, however, since we lack the money to fight a court case with the Sentinel's parent corporation, we pulled the piece and posted the Sentinel's cease-and-desist letter to provide context for our decision.
After we did that, a reporter at the Orlando Business Journal reached out with an invitation for us to link to and quote their story on the Crossroads shopping center. So we took them up on that offer and rewrote this post for the third time.
In the future, we plan to cover our rear with the Sentinel by no longer linking or referencing any articles from the Orlando Sentinel or its publications on Theme Park Insider. When appropriate, we will link to our friends at the Orlando Business Journal instead. Thanks for reading!
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