Just because a shopping center is labeled “destination” doesn’t make it big, though it can be. It doesn’t mean it’s anchored by an arena or an amusement park, although that’s also a possibility. And it doesn’t have to be located in Florida or Hawaii—but that doesn’t hurt.
Shopping destinations simply have significant pull, whether for their tenant mix or their amenities or their location. Chain Store Age profiles two such destinations in this issue; both are located in desirable locations—one near Destin, Fla., and the other in Waikiki, Hawaii—and both have tremendous draws, for tourists and residents alike.
Grand Boulevard at Sandestin: Modeled after the town squares that still dot small towns throughout America, Grand Boulevard at Sandestin has a lot going for it—a dynamic lifestyle experience, access to exclusive shopping and dining as well as corporate offices and lodging, a beautiful park, not to mention a coastal location at the entrance to the luxurious, 2,400-acre Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort.
Myra Williams, VP of marketing for Miramar Beach, Fla.-based Howard Group, developers of the $250 million lifestyle town-center retail project, said that Grand Boulevard has something else that has secured its slot in the destination genre—and that is a predominantly first-to-market lineup of shopping and dining establishments. “Grand Boulevard is one-of-a-kind in our region,” said Williams. “Northwest Florida simply doesn’t offer this kind of shopping and dining experience anywhere else.” Market debuts include J. Crew at-the-beach, Mitchell’s Fish Market, Tommy Bahama’s Tropical Cafe & Emporium, Coldwater Creek, The Orvis Co., J. Jill, and the region’s first P.F. Chang’s.
Lush landscaping (in fact, said Williams, approximately $4.2 million was spent on a stunning array of more than 50 types of trees and bushes) and Mediterranean-influenced architecture set the town center apart from other venues in the region. As well, “a public green space named Grand Park includes a specially designed fountain, a large lawn and benches,” said Williams.
The primary market for Grand Boulevard is th