Time to Celebrate
For Gainesville, Fla.-area residents, these are exciting times. Celebration Pointe, one of the more distinctive mixed-use projects in the state of Florida, is about to hit a significant milestone: The initial phase of the ambitious, $170 million development broke ground in April with site preparation and significant public infrastructure upgrades.
Positioned on a 140-acre plot at the northwest corner of Interstate 75 and Archer Road in the heart of Gainesville, Celebration Pointe promises to be a retail and mixed-use powerhouse with a significant emphasis on destination and entertainment uses. When fully built out, the project will include approximately 300,000 sq. ft. of retail; sit-down dining and entertainment; 1,000 residential units, hotel and meeting space; and approximately 300,000 sq. ft. of Class-A office.
Celebration Pointe is being planned, designed and executed by Atlanta-based RaCo Real Estate Advisors, and Toronto-based Avison Young is handling the leasing and asset management.
A Gainesville original
One of the South’s most dynamic up-and-coming cities, Gainesville is a place that celebrates entrepreneurial energy, encourages an active lifestyle, and fosters an appreciation for sustainability and the region’s abundant natural resources. It is also a city that is under-stored.
“Gainesville’s high barrier to entry has delayed or even kept some retailers from expanding into the trade area,” said Avison Young principal Tonya Creekmore. “Celebration Pointe has been like an enormous magnet grabbing their attention and providing a streamlined and seamless opportunity to access the market and its outstanding demographics.”
A nod to the area’s environmental bent, Celebration Pointe’s master plan features significant conservation components, a number of gathering spaces and outdoor features, and prioritizes connections to adjacent recreational areas. A network of proposed bike paths, walkways and trails that wind throughout the project will connect to a 100-acre conservation area; other protected areas include the existing 460-acre Lake Kanapaha Conservation Area and the 240-acre Split Rock Conservation Area.
Connectivity and context
As one of the state’s first designated transit-oriented developments, the project is making multi-modal transportation a priority. Project leaders have worked closely with Alachua County and the City of Gainesville to create a design that will include bus transit stops within the project. Accessible destinations include downtown Gainesville, the University of Florida, UF Health Shands Hospital and a host of area landmarks.
The project is slated to open Phase 1 in the fourth quarter of 2015. Infrastructure soon underway includes brand-centric signage at the project’s main entrance on Archer Road, which will have a full-access intersection and new multi-lane roadway with a dedicated bus lane and pedestrian walks leading consumers to the core of the project. A new multi-lane bridge is being constructed across Interstate 75, providing a second major connection from Celebration Pointe to the City of Gainesville.
Sustainable, dynamic and seamlessly crafted into the social and commercial fabric of the city around it, Celebration Pointe’s combination of accessibility, civic connections and appealing mix of uses is unique to the region. “This project will literally have something for everyone,” said Ralph Conti, principal of RaCo Advisors and a partner in the project. “Celebration Pointe is a true mixed-use environment where ‘live, work and play’ is not just a tagline, it’s a way of life.”
What’s on Tap for RECon 2014?
When the International Council of Shopping Centers opens the doors of the Las Vegas Convention Center on May 18 to shopping center attendees from around the globe, it will unveil a lineup of newly built and redeveloped properties ripe for deal-making.
On the following pages, Chain Store Age highlights five projects that will be on display at RECon 2014.
Hassalo on Eighth
Developer: American Assets Trust
Construction status: Re-imagined urban village under development
Hassalo on Eighth is located between NE Multnomah and NE Holladay Streets on the north and south, and between NE 9th and 7th on the east and west. When completed, the project will attract a wide range of residents and visitors by offering a variety of housing options and retail spaces. The project will be LEED Platinum-certified, and includes a number of innovative green technologies, including recycling and reusing all of the building’s water.
The total number of residences will be 657, with approximately 593,000 sq. ft. of residential space and nearly 32,000 sq. ft. of retail. Also planned is a 26,000-sq.-ft. anchor tenant slated for grocery.
The project is located in one of five “EcoDistricts” planned in the Portland area. An ecodistrict is a multi-building development designed to maximize an area’s sustainability and livability features. Hassalo on Eighth demonstrates ecodistrict solutions while creating a sense of place around the environmental ethos of a community.
“An Eco-District shows how buildings can work together to create sustainable neighborhoods, not just exist in isolation, and represents the future of green design and development,” said John Chamberlain, CEO and president of American Assets Trust.
Fort Worth, Texas
Major tenants: Current tenants include Zoe’s Kitchen, Silver Fox, and the River Plaza office tenants; a 21,000-sq.-ft. The Fresh Market is slated to open in early 2015.
Construction status: A major expansion and redevelopment of the mixed-use development are currently underway.
WestBend is located on the Trinity River in Fort Worth’s University District, one of Dallas-Fort Worth’s strongest infill retail corridors. Current tenants include Zoe’s Kitchen, Silver Fox and the River Plaza office tenants. Upon completion in spring 2015, WestBend will include 95,000 sq. ft. of retail and dining, and 183,000 sq. ft. of office space.
Scheduled to open in early 2015, The Fresh Market, a 21,000-sq.-ft. European-style market, will be located on the southeast corner of the WestBend project on University Drive, directly across from University Park Village. Demolition of a parking garage is now complete and construction will soon begin on the new 81,150-sq.-ft. building featuring 23,500 sq. ft. of retail, including The Fresh Market and a trailside cafe, and 57,650 sq. ft. of Class A office space above. A new traffic light will be added as part of the expansion plans to improve traffic flow in and out of the project and connect WestBend directly with University Park Village.
“We look forward to the completion of our 278,000-sq.-ft. mixed-use project, which will add a walkable urban experience to the already successful University District and its existing conventional retail,” said Trademark CEO Terry Montesi. “We will have several restaurants on the Trinity Trail with large trailside patios and additional shaded public spaces representing a significant evolution of the District.”
Parkside Town Commons
Developer: Kite Realty Group
Major tenants: Target, Harris Teeter, Petco, Frank Entertainment, Golf Galaxy, Field & Stream
Construction status: Under construction
Parkside Town Commons is a mixed-use center anchored by Frank Theatres, Target, Harris Teeter, Field & Stream and Golf Galaxy. The center is adjacent to the Research Triangle Park, the largest research park in the U.S. and home to more than 140 companies employing more than 49,000.
Raleigh is the fastest-growing city in the U.S. and has a number of accolades based on quality of life, business environment and the housing market. Businessweek.com named Raleigh as the No. 1 Best City in America, Forbes has ranked it No. 1 Best Place for Business and Careers, and Builder Magazine named it the Healthiest of the 100 Largest U.S. Housing Markets.
“This development offers retailers the opportunity for a physical presence at a high-impact, high-quality center in an outstanding location near the heart of the Research Triangle Park. In turn, the community will benefit from a centrally located, first-class shopping destination with a unique roster of high-quality tenants,” said Tom McGowan, president and COO, Kite Realty Group.
“Parkside leasing activity remains strong, with the project significantly pre-leased,” added McGowan. “We will continue working to create a dynamic tenant mix in order to provide a first-class shopping destination.”
Nokomis Village Shopping Center
Nokomis, Sarasota County, Fla.
Developer: The Sembler Co.
Key tenant: Publix
Construction status: Completed
The Nokomis Village Shopping Center property is a redevelopment of a 143,697-sq.-ft., Publix-anchored center, with other tenants including Anthony’s ladies apparel, Village Pharmacy, Ophelia’s Pasta restaurant and Saltwater Café.
During the construction, improvements were made to the entire property — from landscaping to building façade upgrades. The Sembler Co. took over the third-party management of the Nokomis Village Shopping Center about four years ago and, on behalf of the owner at the time, negotiated the deal to tear down the existing Publix and redevelop the entire center, which is more than 30 years old. In the fall of 2011, Sembler then purchased the center from that ownership entity and began the redevelopment plans for the property. The store serves some of southern Sarasota County, Nokomis and the Venice Beach community.
“From the moment we took over the management of Nokomis, we could see the potential for its redevelopment,” said Steve Althoff, senior VP leasing and property management, Sembler. “It’s a high-traffic center but just needed a facelift — such is the life cycle of retail.”
“We will feature Nokomis at RECon as an excellent example of how we can apply our combined expertise in management, leasing and development to enhance the value of an asset for our clients,” added Ron Wheeler, CEO, Sembler.
Developer: The Sembler Co. and Forge Capital in their Forge Real Estate Partners III (FREP) investment fund via joint venture with East Coast Acquisitions
Construction status: Completed
Tarrymore Square is a 256,805-sq.-ft. shopping center located in North Raleigh at 3901 Capital Blvd. near Triangle Center Mall. The center is currently 65% occupied; existing tenants include Walgreens, Rugged Warehouse, Surplus Warehouse, Rainbow Fashions, Rent-A-Center and Miller-Motte Technical College.
The Joint Venture plans on renovating the shopping center and is working with a regional grocer and a retailer of fashion apparel, shoes, accessories and home decor for the entire family. These leases will boost occupancy to about 85% by year-end 2014. The Sembler Co. will serve as the property’s manager and leasing agent. Negotiations are ongoing with additional national and local retailers to lease the remaining available space in the center.
“The primary purpose of the fund is to invest in value-added opportunities and Tarrymore Square meets all of our criteria,” said Ron Wheeler, CEO of Sembler. “We have an active pipeline and continue to look for opportunities throughout the Southeast, Texas and Puerto Rico. Tarrymore Square is a good example of an acquisition where our capital and expertise can bring a center up to full occupancy and improve the overall physical appearance and shopping experience for its customers.”
Dick’s accelerating outdoor vision
Dick’s Sporting Goods opened its Field & Stream prototype store last summer and next month the first of eight stores planned for 2014 arrives on the shores of Lake Erie.
The northwestern Pennsylvania community will be home to Dick’s third Field & Stream store with an opening set for June 13. Dick’s began experimenting with the potential new growth format last August when it opened its first location near its home town of Pittsburgh in the suburb of Cranberry Township. A second location opened later in 2013 in Crescent Springs, Ky.
Dick’s indicated earlier this year that it was seeing very positive reactions and enthusiasm from customers, vendors and associates based on the first two stores, and alluded to big things to come for the outdoor concept.
“Our grand openings were the most successful grand openings of any stores we’ve ever opened,” Dick’s Sporting Goods president and COO Joe Schmidt said earlier this year when the company released fourth quarter results. “The vendor community is also excited about Field & Stream, not only about the look and feel of the stores but also about our extremely talented associates, many of whom have run their own outdoor businesses prior to joining the Field & Stream team.”
With eight openings planned this year, Schmidt said the company is very excited about a store format CFO Andre Hawaux said is more productive than Dick’s conventional stores.
“Our two Field & Stream stores are more productive than our Dick’s stores generating higher sales per square foot, are performing above plan and are profitable on a four wall basis,” Hawaux said. “We have clearly created disruption in this space and believe there is a much to be gained here.”