Margaritaville Resort draws growing mix of national retailers, restaurants

More than half of the new dining and retail space fronting Margaritaville Resort is now either leased or spoken for, according to LandQwest Commercial, the site's exclusive leasing agency.

The 200,000-square-foot shopping, dining and entertainment complex on Kissimmee's W192 tourism corridor has drawn a wide range of national tenants.

"We were at the (International Council of Shopping Centers) in Orlando and did really well," LandQwest Senior Associate Tom Heer told GrowthSpotter on Wednesday. "I think we have a great story to tell."

GrowthSpotter first reported in July that country music group Rascal Flatts had signed a lease for one of its signature restaurants. The company has taken a 9,300-square-foot end unit facing a roundabout near the retail complex's main entry.

Dubbed the "Shoppes at Rolling Oaks," the 40-acre shopping district is not a Margaritaville-branded property, though it's being built by Encore Capital Management, the same developer that is building the resort.

The town center is designed around a central park space and features multiple live music venues. The large open lawn with sound stage will stretch along Margaritaville Boulevard between two corridors of shops and restaurants, and will have its own kiosk vendors, among them Nestle Toll House, Flip Flop Shops, Auntie Anne's Pretzels and Happy Daiquiri.

Heer confirmed that Kiss frontmen Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley would open their third Orlando-area Rock & Brews location there. The company already has a restaurant in Oviedo and one on S. Semoran Boulevard.

Rock & Brews serves everything from cheeseburgers to kale salads. The fare can be washed down with one of 80-plus craft beers on the menu. The restaurant will be located on an outparcel fronting on W192, across from the Panera Bread at the neighboring Rolling Oaks Commons. 

Another prominent restaurant pad located at the main entrance on Margaritaville Boulevard and W192 became available after Island Wing Company dropped out. 

"We are working with several different groups to replace them," Heer said. "It will be an entertainment-restaurant concept. That's a 6,000-square-foot pad. It's a prime spot."

Herr said the Margaritaville-adjacent site has attracted a higher number of restaurant users than a typical retail center. "Because of the vacation homes, and the condos and timeshares, and the water park next door, we’re going to have a lot of people who are captive audience on site."

Cafe Rio, the fast-casual Tex Mex chain that is opening its first Florida location this month in Winter Park, has signed a lease for 2,504 square feet. The Utah-based chain specializes in made-from-scratch dishes and sauces, and even makes its own tortillas in-store.

Cafe Rio will be joined by BurgerFi  (2,856 SF) and Cold Stone Creamery (1,067 SF).

Heer said the leasing team met with a restaurant group that's interested in taking a 22,143-square-foot shell and would introduce three different concepts.

"I think it’s ready to go to lease," he said. "All three concepts are themed restaurants that are not in the area just yet."

LandQwest is also looking for an Asian-themed restaurant and a seafood restaurant. "We're Margaritaville and we don't have a seafood restaurant yet," Heer said.

GameTime Family Entertainment Center also has an LOI for 24,010 square feet, which is comparable in size to the company's flagship restaurants in Miami, Tampa and soon-to-open Ocoee, which include full liquor sports bar and super arcades.

Retailers that have signed leases include Skechers (8,491 SF), City Fashion (6,466 SF) and The Shirt Bar (2,645 SF). 

Local souvenir T-shirt seller U.S. Gift Factory has a lease out on 3,240 square feet. Other retailers that have signed LOIs include: Hello Kitty (1,032 SF), Happy Feet (1,029 SF) and Build-a-Bear Workshop (2,725 SF).

Heer said LandQwest has signed Avalon nail salon and is looking for more service providers, such as hair salons. 

Studio Movie Grill is named for a 40,521-square-foot multiplex. The Texas-based theater chain has two locations in the Tampa Bay market. The concept includes full-service dining options with food and drinks delivered directly to the patron's leather recliner.

The $750 million resort, scheduled to open in 2018, features the Orlando market's first Margaritaville-branded hotel, along with 1,000 vacation cottages, 300 timeshare units and 150 condos. A 12-acre, $45 million water park is slated to open in Spring 2019.

Editor's Note: This article has been updated to clarify that the shopping center is not a Margaritaville-branded property.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at lkinsler@GrowthSpotter.com or (407) 420-6261, or tweet me at @LKinslerOGrowth. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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