Friday, May 14, 2010 | 10:46 a.m.
Despite the sluggish commercial real estate market, three of the valley’s premier malls – Fashion Show, Town Square Las Vegas and The District at Green Valley Ranch – are welcoming a high-profile assortment of new local and national retail and restaurant tenants, some of which are making their initial foray into Southern Nevada.
Meanwhile The Shoppes at Harmon Square – a shopping plaza located near the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in the heart of Las Vegas’ resort corridor – recently underwent an extensive renovation and rebranding.
Los Angeles-based men’s and women’s specialty apparel and accessories retailer Forever 21 is poised to open a new super-size location this June in Fashion Show, Las Vegas’ largest shopping mall. The new 127,000-square-foot mega-store, which will occupy the anchor space that was originally set aside for Lord & Taylor, will showcase a variety of brands, including Heritage 1981, a lifestyle brand for men and women; Twelve by Twelve, a couture-like aspiration line; Faith 21, an extended-sizes line; Love 21, a contemporary women’s line; and Love and Beauty, a cosmetics collection.
Founded in Los Angeles in 1984, Forever 21 now operates more than 480 stores in the United States, with international operations in Canada, Puerto Rico, Korea and Japan.
Meanwhile, Town Square Las Vegas – the valley’s largest outdoor mall – is also abuzz with activity, as three new restaurants make their Southern Nevada debut. The newcomers to Town Square include Nu Sanctuary Lounge, which opened April 29 and offers a spiritual, holistic approach to food, drink and hookah. Nu Sanctuary will feature fashion shows, belly dancers, world-class deejays and a Garden of Eden setting that will infuse flavor into Town Square’s existing restaurant mix, according to Mike Wethington, the center’s general manager.
“Nu Sanctuary is a Mediterranean hookah lounge, which is not an option we currently have here,” Wethington said, adding that two additional eateries are also slated to open at Town Square this summer. “Lolita’s Cantina, which has a Miami-meets-Mexico kind of theme, is renovating an existing space, and will be opening around the beginning of July. Miller’s Ale House, a casual-dining sports bar, is building from the ground up, and is also proposed to open in July.”
The three new additions will bring Town Square’s dining options to a total of 17 disparate concepts, Wethington said, adding that diversity continues to drive business to the three-year-old center, which had just two eateries onsite when it opened. It also has grown from 38 stores to 116 varied merchants.
“Because of our location at the crossroads of I-15 and I-215, Town Square gets a lot of traffic, so the demand to be located here has continued to be strong, and we still have incredible leasing right now,” Wethington said. “Times are certainly difficult and you have to have a good business plan, but there are great opportunities for establishments to take advantage of the market. Town Square continues to grow, and we’re very excited about the direction we’re going.”
The District at Green Valley Ranch
In addition to Town Square, another premier outdoor retail property – The District at Green Valley Ranch in Henderson – is welcoming a pair of new tenants, including Josie’s Self-Serve Frozen Yogurt, a one-year-old locally-based chain that unveiled its flagship location at The District in early May in its new 875-square-foot site.
“We felt The District was a prime location,” said Dale Ray Akridge, Josie’s co-owner. “I live there, and my partner lives around the corner. You hear that the economy is so bad right now, but on the other side comes something very good: landlord cooperation. Landlords are actively trying to get their vacancies filled, so there hasn’t been an opportunity like this in the past 10 or 15 years where you can lease high-rent commercial space for the prices offered now.”
Featuring wholesome ingredients with unique nutritional composition that yields frozen desserts that are lower in calories, sodium and carbohydrates than comparable frozen yogurt products, Josie’s utilizes pure crystalline fructose and no stabilizers or emulsifiers. The company also has a location at Bermuda Road and Silverado Ranch Boulevard.
The District is also set to welcome new tenant Sassy The Boutique, a local retail operation that specializes in women’s apparel and accessories, and originally opened at Lake Las Vegas in 2008. The new Sassy location in The District is expected to open in June and will comprise more than 1,900 square feet of space. The boutique will feature contemporary items ranging in price from $20 to $200, according to co-owner Javiar Ramos.
“We live in Green Valley and like the area,” Ramos said of his decision to open a second store in The District. “We feel confident, because every time we went to The District it looked busy. We also felt that now was a good time to open, because the center is more flexible.”
The Shoppes at Harmon Square
Besides commercial infusions at several of the valley’s pedestrian malls, The Shoppes at Harmon Square – a 3.3-acre retail plaza strategically located at Paradise Road and Harmon Avenue – has also seen a flurry of activity, having recently reopened after a $1 million makeover.
“The Shoppes at Harmon Square had a complete facelift,” said Steve Barklis, owner’s representative for AMK LLC, an affiliate of Southern California-based Tarsadia Hotels. “It was sort of an expression of our confidence in the Las Vegas market, and also the location, because that is key.”
The renovations included the installation of a new roof, replacing and/or refurbishing HVAC units, site and building lighting, and resurfacing the parking lot and concrete areas. AMK also converted the landscaping to conserve water, refreshed the exterior with new paint and stone façade, and installed new signage awnings and parking lot islands.
“The property features as many as 13 suites ranging in size from 600 to 6,000 square feet,” Barklis said. “We have high confidence in the ability of tenants to be successful in this location, but the renovations were absolutely necessary to bring the center up to its potential.”