ORLANDO, Fla. — Drivers on I-4 near the Disney attractions area may at some point notice a popular shopping center entirely missing, a casualty of Interstate 4 expansion.
- Crossroads Shopping Center has been at Disney area since 1988
- FDOT looking to buy it to build new SR 535 interchange
- State renderings also show retention ponds, additional ramp
Customers bustle in and out businesses at the Crossroads Shopping Center at Lake Buena Vista during busy lunch hours near the Disney attractions area.
But time for these shops may be running out as the Florida Department of Transportation is in talks to buy the well-known plaza to make way for more future I-4 expansion.
The Crossroads Shopping Center has been at Lake Buena Vista since 1988 but was turned over to a realty group in 2001. (Sky 13)
The Crossroads Shopping Plaza was originally built by Disney in 1988 but was sold to a realty group in 2001. The plaza makes up more than 20 tenants while taking up over 155,000 square feet of land.
Looking at one of the renderings for the "I-4 Beyond the Ultimate" project, it appears the plaza will be replaced with rentention ponds and a newly reconfigured interchange with State Road 535 while also clearing land to make an additional ramp for Hotel Plaza Boulevard to help fly traffic over one of the area's highly congested bottlenecks.
Florida transportation officials said negotiations are ongoing, but they confirmed that negotiations are in progress to acquire the necessary right of way.
In fact, as part of their five-year work program to the year 2023, FDOT is slated to spend about $164 million on the stretch of I-4 that runs east of the Osceola Parkway to just west of the Beachline Expressway. All but $2 million of that money would be spent on acquiring right of way.
The Crossroads Shopping Center is right off Interstate 4 just east of U.S. 192. (Sky 13)
Most businesses at the plaza wouldn’t comment until the deal was done. But one manager said he's not worried, because his branch acts as a warehouse of sorts for a much larger company. He said it's Gooding's and the Indian restaurant Dashkin that may be in trouble.