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Wannado City To Close Earlier Than Expected

Parents take note, Wannado City has moved up their closing date at Sawgrass Mills Mall. Last month the once popular children's attraction announced that it would be closing its doors on January 12th. In a statement Monday, the company said they would close on January 2nd but did not give a reason for the change in date.

In a letter last month to the state informing them of the closure, Wannado City directors said they never were able to come up with a way to be profitable.

"Throughout the years, the operation went through many operational changes and company restructures trying to achieve a business that would break even," a company director wrote to the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation on November 12. "Unfortunately, we were unsuccessful in the matter."

The company said all 314 employees would be laid off and given "severance benefits and transition help."

But when one door closes, another opens, said Sawgrass Mills Vice President Luanne Lenberg. She said the mall already lined up several retailers to move into the 140-thousand square feet of space Wannado City will vacate.

"These are new stores -- new stores and major brands that would like to be at Sawgrass and unfortunately we have not been able to accommodate," she said.

Lenberg expects the stores to move in early next year but she would reveal which retailers they are.

She also said the recapturing of the space would allow the mall to better move shoppers through the mall's upscale section of stores.

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