Top 10 Retail Center Experiences: No. 8 Butler Plaza
REAL ESTATE

Top 10 Retail Center Experiences: No. 8 Butler Plaza

BY Al Urbanski

In a search for innovators in experiential retail, Chain Store Age asked readers to nominate retail centers worthy of being named among the Top 10 Retail Center Experiences in the nation. The editors’ picks continue with No. 8 Butler Plaza:


Butler Plaza

In 1939, the new experience that Plant City strawberry farmer Clark Butler brought to Gainesville, Fla., was the fresh produce that he sold on a corner stand.

“My dad’s store had curbside service so people never had to leave their car—we’ve been practicing the art of service and experience since day one,” said his daughter Deborah Butler, who now runs this retail mega-complex that constantly adjusts to the needs of its customer base.

It’s hard to name a need Butler does not fill. Encompassing 67 acres and three neighborhoods (including its own traffic light), Butler Plaza hosts two Publix supermarkets, a Walmart, a Target, a Sam’s Club, a Whole Foods, and a Lowe’s. There’s also a Regal Cinema and 35 dining options among the 2 million sq. ft. of GLA — and luxury retail and residences are coming soon to the new Butler Town Center.

Gainesville’s changed from Clark Butler’s day. It’s home to the University of Florida, a large healthcare complex, and a flourishing biotech industry.

“Here we have this pocket of population growth in North Central Florida, and we intend to meet all their needs here,” Butler marketing director Mary Reichardt said.


This is the eight post in a series profiling the 10 selections from CSA‘s 2018 Top 10 Retail Center Experiences. Stay tuned for daily profiles of the remaining two centers from now until Aug. 3. Until then, catch up on what you missed:

No. 1 Westfield Century City 

No. 2 River Oaks District

No. 3 Crocker Park

No. 4 Plano Market Street

No. 5 Irvine Spectrum Center

No. 6 Streets of St. Charles

No. 7 Santana Row

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Forest City to be acquired in mega real estate deal

BY Marianne Wilson

Forest City, whose retail holdings include retail centers throughout New York City, is being acquired by a Brookfield real estate fund.

Brookfield Asset Management Inc. announced it will acquire all of the outstanding shares of common stock of Forest City for $25.35 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at $11.4 billion, including debt.

Forest City operates 2.2 million sq. ft. of retail space, including regional malls in key markets and specialty retail centers, primarily in New York City. The company’s portfolio also includes 6.3 million sq. ft. of office space, 18,500 multifamily units, as well as five large-scale development projects in the New York Metro area, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., along with other assets.

“Forest City has created a high-quality portfolio of operating and development assets over its 100-year history,” said Brian Kingston, CEO of Brookfield Property Group. “We look forward to creating further value in these great assets on behalf of our limited partners.”

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Cost Plus World Market entering new state

BY Marianne Wilson

A value home décor and accessories specialty retailer is expanding into new territory.

Cost Plus World Market will open its first store in Connecticut, in the town of Manchester, on August 2. The retailer is known for its eclectic assortment of unique home furniture, decor, tabletop items, gourmet foods, jewelry and accessories from around the world, ranging from baskets pottery from Portugal to collectibles from Africa.

Cost Plus Market currently operates 280 stores in 39 states and the District of Columbia under the World Market and Cost Plus World Market banners. The company is owned by Bed Bath & Beyond.

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