Shopping Center Business

MAY 2016

Shopping Center Business is the leading monthly business magazine for the retail real estate industry.

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DEVELOPMENT NEWS 64 • SHOPPING CENTER BUSINESS • May 2016 A testament to a blazing retail development market in North Florida, the 1 million-square-foot Celebration Pointe proj- ect in Gainesville continues to command attention from retail- ers and the community, alike. The $200 million project is a true mixed-use development; comprised of open-air outlet retail, restaurants and entertainment in the form of a Main Street, Class A offce space, a 137-room Hotel Indigo, urban fat apart- ments above retail, luxury garden-style apartment homes and town homes surrounded by acres of conservancy, including the Archer Braid Trail. "We've just kicked off getting our key retail anchor Bass Pro Shops under construction — they're going to open in No- vember," says Ralph Conti, principal and managing member of Atlanta-based Ra Co Real Estate, which along with Gaines- ville-based Viking Cos. forms Celebration Pointe Development Partners. "One of our marquee offce tenants, InfoTech, is also under construction on its new headquarters. The offce will be opening in the spring of 2017, bringing over 200 employ- ees onto the property. We also intend to start construction on Phase I of our City Walk luxury apartment homes, an offce building, Hotel Indigo and Regal Cinemas this summer." Bass Pro Shops and Regal Cinemas will anchor the main street retail component, which forms a 'T' intersection at the heart of the project. "Our Main Street component consists of a pedestrian-only corridor extending from Bass Pro Shops to Regal Cinemas," says Conti. "At the center of the project is Celebration Pointe Avenue, which leads to a multi-modal, fve- lane bridge over the top of Interstate 75. That is set to open in early fall." "The bridge is a major public infrastructure project done in a public-private partnership between Celebration Pointe Hold- ings LLC, the project's sponsor, and state and county offcials," continues Conti. "Celebration Pointe is going to have a heavy entertainment presence, with Regal Cinemas and restaurants merged with outlets," says Tonya Creekmore, principal of retail at Avison Young, the company in charge of retail leasing at the project. "In the outlet industry, you're seeing that consumers want more than just shopping — they want a place to go. Integrat- ing that with the residential and entertainment components will give the consumer a greater reason to stay longer." (See Creekmore's full article on the outlet-retail convergence on page 194). The residential component of Celebration Pointe will con- sist of urban fats, luxury garden-style apartments and townho- mes. "The urban fats will be located over the western side of the Main Street retail," says Conti. "We are offering a diverse residential offering that will attract millennials, young profes- sionals, empty nesters, families and active adults. Gainesville is starving for the residential options that we are delivering." The multi-modal bridge will provide a second major vehic- ular and pedestrian connection into the project, along with a multi-lane main entrance off of Archer Road. "The bridge is going to connect the west side of the interstate to the east side, and provide an alternative traffc pattern to Archer Road," says Conti. "It's one of the most traveled roads in that area." The bridge will not only facilitate an alternative traffc pat- tern — it will work to connect the Archer Braid Trail, a six- mile hiking trail connecting the cities of Archer and Gainesville, through its pedestrian path. The conservancy and trail affliation at the property make it a sought out location for tenant Bass Pro Shops. "This is the perfect piece of real estate for Bass Pro Shops," says Conti. "At the back door lies acres of conservancy, and at the front door is the Archer Braid Trail. Given the company's involvement with conservation and the great outdoors, it is the perfect tenant to anchor this portion of the project." Celebration Pointe was designed with walkability in mind — from the retail main streets to the townhomes and offces. "Everything in Celebration Pointe is extremely walkable," says Conti. "Our asset management team is already engaged in plan- ning regular events at the property, and we will be partner- ing with businesses and the community to make Celebration Pointe Gainesville's most beloved destination." "A lot of people have said this is an ambitious project, and it is," says Conti. "The owners of this project were never inter- ested in just building another retail center — they wanted to do something special. We're not building it for today, we're building it for the sustainable future." — Katie Sloan Celebration Pointe: Blazing New Ground Celebration Pointe will contain two intersecting retail main streets anchored on either side by Bass Prop Shops and Regal Cinemas.

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