Entertainment retail isn't what it used to be. Today, it really is entertaining.
Take Delray Marketplace in Delray Beach, Fla., a 258,000-sq.-ft. Main Street development filled with entertainment offerings, restaurants and retailers that give you something fun to do and something fun to buy.
"Our goal was to create an entertainment, dining and shopping experience," said Jason Samreny, VP leasing with Indianapolis-based Kite Realty Group Trust, the project's developer.
That's an understatement. Consider Frank Theatres CineBowl & Grille. It has 12 stadium theaters, including an IMAX. After the movie, go bowling. You'll find 16 bowling lanes under the same roof, with huge video screens playing sports and music videos. If you wear a white shirt, the black lights will make you glow. After bowling, chow down in the restaurant, bar or brick-oven pizza shop or play games in the redemption arcade.
It's so much fun, you could take your vacation in there. On your return, stop by the Publix at the other end of the project to pick up groceries to restock your refrigerator. These are the premises upon which this project was planned, created, constructed and freshly opened on March 23.
Fun names: The development also boasts the first Polaroid Fotobar in the country. The new concept transforms digital photos inside smartphones, computers, tablets or digital cameras into display art. An Olive Tap offers extra virgin and flavored olive oils from international artisans and small-batch producers. There's a Mancave Salon for men and an Extend Barre ballet studio for women. Shops include Apricot Lane, Charming Charlie, Francesca's Collections, It'Sugar, Republic of Couture and more.
Fun food: Burt & Max's Grille is already popular. "This is a sibling of a famous South Florida restaurant called Max's Grille," Samreny said. The restaurant roster includes Cabo Flats Cantina & Tequila Bar, Famous Famiglia, Global Beer Collection, Japango, Orange Leaf, Shula Burger and Grind Coffee.
Showtime: An amphitheater for special events rounds out the entertainment offerings. "Our first event was LeCirque Delray for the grand opening of the amphitheater," Samreny said. "We had live music, costumed characters and giveaways. We're planning family-friendly activities for weekends, and we'll make it available to community groups."
The trading area encompasses the 359,500 people living within a 15-minute drive in any direction away from the center. The area includes 165,545 households with an average household income of $88,473.
From the ground up: Despite the drop-off in shopping
center projects caused by the recession, Kite built Delray Marketplace from the ground up with a $62 million construction loan from Bank of America.
"Getting financing today is more difficult than it used to be," said Adam Basch, senior financial analyst of acquisitions with Kite. "But we maintained our banking relationships through the downturn. That helps in securing loans.
"Financing is also easier when you have a project with early leasing momentum."
Delray Marketplace was 66% leased the day Kite broke ground. So the project is even fun for the bankers. You don't see that very often.
Location: Delray Beach, Fla.
Developer: Kite Realty Group Trust
Size: 258,000 sq. ft.
Major tenants: Frank Theatres CineBowl & Grille, Publix, Burt & Max's
Open date: March 23, 2013