North Texans take dining out and shopping very seriously. In fact, there are more stores and restaurants in Dallas-Fort Worth than just about any other market in the United States. So if you’re going to make it here, you better stand out—and the three Best Retail Project finalists in D CEO’s Commercial Real Estate Awards certainly do.
This popular theater operator has a cult-like following, and it promises to help revitalize Richardson Heights Shopping Center, which was bought out of bankruptcy by Hartman REIT in late 2010. The space Alamo is going into is a former Pep Boys auto repair shop.
Richardson economic development officials joined forces with Hartman brokers Tyler Isbel of SRS Real Estate Services and Frank Bullock to go after Alamo. And now, what was once unusable space is poised to become a hot new North Texas attraction.
The revamped 30,000-square-foot Alamo Drafthouse will feature seven movie auditoriums, each outfitted with 100 percent digital projection, using Texas Instruments equipment, as well as a lounge offering a menu of draft and bottled beers, wine, cocktails, and food. The tenant was represented by Jerry Averyt of Henry S. Miller Co.
Nebraska Furniture Mart
North Texas saw a number of big retail deals in 2012; Nebraska Furniture Mart dwarfs them all. The 560,000-square-foot retail showroom and 1.3 million-square-foot distribution center will anchor Grandscape, a mixed-use development off State Highway 121 in The Colony. At full build-out, the 400-acre project will feature 3.9 million square feet of retail, dining, and entertainment space. The furniture store alone is expected to attract between 8 million and 10 million visitors a year and employ 2,000 people.
“You can’t do anything plain-label in Texas, especially Dallas,” said Bob Batt, executive vice president and grandson of Nebraska Furniture Mart’s founder, Rose Blumkin. “It’s a magnificent, very complicated project, and we have to make sure it’s done right. There are no do-overs.”
The Venture Commercial Real Estate team of Larry Leon, Jonathan Cooper, and Bob Moore assisted the retailer in its land acquisitions. David Davidson Jr., also with Venture, and David Davidson Sr., of Davidson Real Estate, helped assemble surrounding land parcels to round out the 433-acre site.
In efforts to get outlet products closer to customers, Sears has opened three North Texas outlet centers totaling more than 93,000 square feet of retail space. The new locations include Ridgmar Town Square in Fort Worth at 30,577 square feet, Greenville and Main in Allen at 35,398 square feet, and the Mesquite Outlet at 27,080 square feet.
Edge Realty Partners’ Michal Stern, who has represented Sears for a decade, said the biggest impact of these projects is that Sears has been able to help fill large spaces in left behind by grocers and other large stores. The challenge was negotiating five-year terms on junior anchor boxes when landlords primarily want 10-year terms, Stern said.
In addition to serving as an outlet destination, Sears will also sell electronics, apparel, fitness equipment, offer repair services, and provide full-line store merchandise through an internet kiosk within each store.
This year’s Winner: Nebraska Furniture Mart