Orlando Premium Outlets shopping mall

The Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets owes three contractors over $1.8 million, according to construction lien filings.

Owned by Simon Property Group, a leading retail investment trust headquartered in Indianapolis, the Orlando Premium Outlets is a 773,586 square-foot retail center with more than 180 retail and outlet stores.

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Located at 8200 Vineland Ave, retail sprawl sits 5 minutes from the Universal Orlando Resort and 10 miles from the Walt Disney World Resort.

In November of 2019, the Orlando Premium Outlets underwent renovations to redo the food court, improve wi-fi connectivity, construct shade structures, enhance the property’s lighting, upgrade landscaping, and install other related changes.

The renovations were overseen by Whiting-Turner Contracting, one of the nation’s leading construction management and general contracting companies, and they were slated to reach completion in late 2020.

However, over the course of these renovations, several contractors have gone unpaid. The outlets as well as the tenants that occupy them have faced some difficulty in the face of COVID-19.

Contractors aren’t the only parties waiting for payment. Back in February 2020, the Florida Department of Revenue issued a warrant against Orlando Vineland PO, L.P. for collection of delinquent sales and use tax totaling $4,199.56.

Three Contractors Owed $1.8M in Total

Three contractors have filed construction liens on the Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets since June of 2020 including the general contractor, Whiting-Turner. The liens roll in from a variety of projects related to the renovations that began in 2019. Each lien was filed in Orange County where the property is located.

Contractors have the right to file a construction lien to recover unpaid amounts. A construction lien, commonly known as a mechanics lien, attaches to the property where the project took place, hindering its sale until the claim is paid.

The most valuable mechanics lien comes in from Whiting-Turner Contracting. Whiting-Turner, a Maryland-based company, filed a mechanics lien on July 31st for the unclaimed amount of $1.6 million. Whiting-Turner was contracted directly with the owner, Orlando Vineland PO, LP.

The project that Whiting-Turner was hired on is named as the “Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets Renovation,” and the original price on the contract was $29.4 million. Whiting-Turner started work on August 12th, 2019 and last furnished on May 5th, 2020.

The Plummer Painting Company, a subcontractor hired by Whiting-Turner, filed a mechanics lien on June 22nd, 2020. Plummer was left unpaid after furnishing doing exterior painting work on the Orlando Premium Outlets. The original contract price was $1.1 million, and Plummer claimed $166.3K in unpaid wages.

Plummer first furnished labor and materials on October 7th, 2019 and last furnished on March 25th, 2020.

The last contractor to file a mechanics lien on the property was Freeport Fountains, LLC. Freeport was hired by Whiting-Turner to construct a water feature at the Orlando retail center. Freeport claimed $15.4K in unpaid wages following an original contact price of $154.9K.

Freeport first furnished labor and materials for the water feature on February 10th, 2020 and last furnished on April 30th.

Gap Sued by Simon Property Group for $107M, Orlando Tourism Takes a Hit

Shopping outlets and tourist attractions across Florida have been hard-hit by the economic downturn, leading to a spike in lien filings across the state.

Earlier this year, Disney World faced $5.7 million in mechanics lien claims on new rollercoaster projects. Several construction contractors for SeaWorld filed liens claiming nearly $2 million.

As retailers struggle around the nation, Gap, an anchor store at Orlando Vineland, is currently being countersued by Simon Property Group, the firm which owns the outlet mall. Simon claims Gap has been “taking opportunistic advantage” of the coronavirus pandemic, using it to avoid paying rent.

The lawsuit claims $107 million in unpaid rent from the retail giant. Gap is one of many in the lineup of struggling retailers around the country.

Along with impact to retail around the nation, Orlando tourism has been deeply affected by the coronavirus. With temporary closures and reduced hours of attractions like Disney World, the Florida visitor count in April-June dropped by nearly 60.5%, which is a drop from 32.4 million to 12.8 million.

Retail in such a high-tourism area depends on visitors, and Florida is responding by setting $13 million aside to stoke tourism in the area in the wake of COVID-19.

In the meantime, the Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets have partially reopened in May and are also the site of the NBA’s free coronavirus testing scheme.