REAL ESTATE

Whole Foods Market is set to open at Butler Town Center

BY Al Urbanski

Butler Town Center, the upscale mixed-use addition to the Butler retail mega-plex in Gainesville, Florida, that’s been three years in the making, is about to welcome shoppers.

First to open its doors on May 9 will be Whole Foods Market, a brand that has little presence in north central Florida and is a first-to-market in Gainesville.

“We have created this location specifically for the lifestyle of the Gainesville community. We know our new customers will love the convenient dining, easy shopping and comfortable surroundings we’ve designed just for them,” said Juan Nunez, president of Whole Foods Market’s Florida region.

The 40,000-sq.-ft. supermarket will anchor the western end of “Main Street” in Butler Town Center, a 450,000-sq.-ft. project that includes two luxury apartment developments, an entertainment and restaurant hub, and a chef-curated food hall.

Considering that Whole Foods made its mark in college towns in the Nineties, its debut in Gainesville (home to the University of Florida and its 50,000 students) appears long overdue.

“As a first in north central Florida, Whole Foods Market exemplifies the exciting impact that Butler Town Center will make in this super-regional market,” said Butler Enterprises president Deborah Butler. “With a top 10 university, the best small college in the country, and 11 nationally ranked hospitals, Gainesville has demand for the experiential shopping and dining atmosphere that Butler Town Center will fulfill.”

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REAL ESTATE

HomeGoods, Five Below to open at Magnolia Mall

BY Al Urbanski

Hot, value-price retailers continue to fill mall space vacated by shut-down department stores.

PREIT announced this week’s opening of an 8,500-sq.-ft. Five Below at its Magnolila Mall in Florence, South Carolina, to be followed next month with the debut of a 20,000-sq.-ft. Home Goods.

“These in-demand retailers bring new uses to the community and improve the diversity and quality of our portfolio tenant base,” said PREIT CEO Joseph Coradino.

While Sears exited Magnolia, Belk signed a 10-year lease renewal that includes a store remodel. Also opening at the mall later this year will be H&M.

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Simon unveils plans to fill five vacated Sears stores

BY Al Urbanski

Food halls, fitness centers, and new shops are destined for emptied Sears spaces at five Simon malls, according to company COO Michael McCarty.

The vacated Sears at Simon’s Brea Mall in Brea, Calif., will be the site of a mini-mixed-use project with residences, restaurants, new retail brands and a three-story, 120,000-sq.-ft. Life Time Athletic center.

Plans for the Sears space at Pittsburgh’s Ross Park Mall include new dining hall, new retailers, restaurants, and entertainment on three levels. Construction is slated to start in early 2019 with completion in the summer of 2020.

At Midland Park Mall in Midland, Texas, the department store’s departure will mean two new restaurants, a remodeled and expanded Dillard’s store, and new-to-market, unnamed large-format retailer. Work is expected to start this spring and complete by summer 2020.

New shops and dining establishments will also fill former Sears spaces at Burlington Mall in Burlington, Mass., and Ocean County Mall in Toms River, N.J.

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