New Dixie Belle Shops to open in early 2013

Artist’s rendering of new Dixie Belle Shopping Center.

Dixie Belle Shopping Center originally opened for business the same year the country celebrated its bicentennial back in 1976.

 The 36-year-old strip mall, at 12185 S. Dixie Hwy., that once housed Pete’s Pizza Universe and Black Panther Karate among others, recently was demolished. A new modern version of the Dixie Belle Shopping Center is under construction, with the anticipated completion scheduled for sometime in early 2013, according to owner and property manager Henry Su.

 “We purchased the property back in 1986 before Pinecrest was Pinecrest,” said Su. “It had never been remodeled or updated since opening in 1976. As we have seen Pinecrest grow, we wanted to grow with the city. We hope to improve our shopping center to better serve the Village and envision ourselves as part of the area’s future growth.”

Although the center’s size has been reduced from the original 40,000 square feet to 27,725 square feet to comply with Village “green space” guidelines, two new buildings will be erected and a more parking added. The original u-shaped mall was truncated on the east side at the spot where Pizza Universe was located. That space will now accommodate Building One, a 7,437-square-foot structure that is very near to being fully leased. A drive-through Starbucks is slated to relocate from its original Suniland location and a Chipotle Mexican Grill franchise is expected to follow, pending final lease agreements now in negotiation.

 The 3,643-square-foot second new building to go up, Building Two, will be home to a single-user, drive-through bank, according to property manager Su. Potential tenants are under consideration. Buildings three, four and five are located on the west side of the property, where Dr. Juan Salvat’s dental practice, the Kumon Math and Reading Center, and Jill Mallory’s Dance Studio are scheduled to return.

Pinecrest planning director Steve Olmsted said construction seems to be moving along nicely.

“The Village anticipates a very attractive, modern redevelopment ahead,” said Olmsted. “The building and planning department reviewed and approved the site plan. The project was then approved by the Village Council on Feb. 21 and construction began shortly thereafter.”

Once construction is finished, Village building inspectors will review the electrical, plumbing and structural elements of the project and, if all is in order, will issue a certificate of occupancy. “These inspections will occur individually as various components of the work are completed,” said Olmsted.

According to Su, original Dixie Belle businesses like Coldwell Banker, Beltone Hearing, Pinecrest Chiropractic, Matisse’s Hair Loft, Black Panther Karate and My Derma Clinic Day Spa have relocated, but maintained Pinecrest addresses.

 Su Investment Corporation owns and manages seven mall locations in Florida. For information, call 305-251-7616.

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