Rustic Barrel Sport & Tap To Take Over Hagerstown Tilted Kilt in Valley Mall

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WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. — An upstart chain of Ohio restaurants will be taking over Tilted Kilt Pub and Eatery’s space soon in the Valley Mall.

Columbus, Ohio-based Rustic Barrel Sport & Tap is showing on its website that it is coming soon to the Valley Mall, listing the same phone number — 301-582-5300—that Tilted Kilt uses. It signals that the days—maybe even as soon as Sunday— could be numbered for Tilted Kilt’s Hagerstown location. The Hagerstown Tilted Kilt is no longer listed on the chain’s website, with Frederick being the closest location. No closing date has been posted, but with the restaurant de-listed from the corporate website, it could be any day now.

You can follow the Rustic Barrel Hagerstown location on Facebook, too.

An opening date has not been posted, but it will take some time to renovate that space, re-hire existing employees, hire new employees and get the liquor license in order.

Never heard of Rustic Barrel? Neither have I. The chain is brand new, filing for its trademark in April. It should not be confused by similarly named Rusty Bucket, which also is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. So far, there are locations in Columbus and Canton, Ohio; Florence, Kentucky; Fayetteville, North Carolina; and opening soon in Novi, Michigan, as well as coming soon to Hagerstown.

Rustic Barrel boasts local and national craft beer, plenty of TVs and video walls to watch sports with something called “totchos” on its menu—tater tots with loaded toppings like you’d find on nachos. You’ll also find burgers, salads, sandwiches like the Salmon BLT, flatbread pizzas and full entrees. Check out the full Rustic Barrel menu to see what’s appetizing.

There’s a few moving parts to this takeover. For starters, this isn’t the first time Rustic Barrel is taking over a Tilted Kilt. The Fayetteville (N.C.) Observer, which also saw a Tilted Kilt being taken over by Rustic Barrel, kept track of those takeovers:

On Sept. 9, This Week Community News of Lewis Center, Ohio, reported that a Tilted Kilt in Columbus, Ohio, was being converted into a Rustic Barrel. That also seems to have been the case in Florence, Kentucky, the site of the first Rustic Barrel that opened four weeks ago.

The same Rustic Barrel-for-Tilted Kilt takeovers have also been reported near Canton, Ohio.

In San Diego, a Tilted Kilt shuttered after the Chargers moved to Los Angeles. In Morgantown, W.Va., a Tilted Kilt closed two years ago in a busy shopping center filled with other restaurants. Yes, it is unusual to see a national chain restaurant see instability to the point of closures and franchisees ready to flip it for something else.

In Annapolis, a corporate-owned location closed in June after losing a lawsuit for unpaid rent at Westfield Annapolis and facing lawsuits from contractors, according to The Capital Gazette.

Tempe, Arizona-based Tilted Kilt is in the category of “breastaurants” as Hooters and Twin Peaks but with kilts, and opened its Valley Mall restaurant in May 2013. It’s been so long that I’ve forgotten that Cafe Rio Mexican Grill opened just the month before beside it, with that quickly shuttering and making way for Primanti Brothers. I’ve only been a couple of times and other than a major football game, it seemed to be dead while other restaurants along the front of the mall were buzzing. The Scottish-themed food wasn’t wooing me either.

Do you think Rustic Barrel will have more success than Tilted Kilt?

 

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Tilt Studio, Onelife Fitness Gym Coming to Former Macy’s At Valley Mall

tiltstudio(Updated 12:30 p.m.) WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. — Tilt Studio and a Onelife Fitness gym will replace the Valley Mall’s shuttered Macy’s, mall owner PREIT announced Wednesday in its quarterly earnings report.

PREIT announced the lease signing in its company overview for the third quarter.  Hagerstown is also listed as a future location for the arcade on Tilt’s website.

PREIT CEO Joseph F. Coradino said in the Thursday earnings call that a lease has been executed with U.S. Fitness Holdings for a 70,000-square-foot gym with an indoor and outdoor pool. Coradino didn’t specify which of US Fitness’ brands but it appears to be Onelife Fitness. US Fitness Holdings operates OneLife Fitness, Sport & Health and Crunch Fitness.

The anchor replacements are part of an overall success for PREIT across its portfolio, being able to quickly fill in shuttered anchors. Coradino said that anchors are in transition at half of PREIT’s malls. The Hagerstown Macy’s closed in 2016.

“We’re leading the way in transforming the anchor landscape,” Coradino said on the earnings call. “This is a longterm business and malls in particular are undergoing a renaissance that we’re excited about.”

Tilt is expected to open in the third quarter of 2018 and US Fitness’s gym is expected to open in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to PREIT’s filing. Work has already begun on carving up the Macy’s floor plan into two spaces.

Dodge Projects, which collects information from permits and other sources for construction projects, is showing that it will be a Onelife Fitness. Without paying for the full access (it is quite pricey), it’s unclear where that information came from. Sometimes companies will submit the project for listing, other times it will come from a permit scan or sometimes from uncorroborated reports. In any case, the source is noted on the post. Mall employees are also being told that the gym will be a Onelife Fitness.

A mega-sized arcade and a full-fledged health club are part of an industry pivot away from department stores and clothing retailers to entertainment-centric tenants. Valley Mall already saw some of that occur with Primanti Bros., Red Robin, Tilted Kilt, Mission BBQ, Noodles and Company and Starbucks all taking up spaces in the mall and on Valley Mall Road.

“We’re establishing unique environments for our shopper,” Coradino said. “When we talk about diversifying our tenant base, we’re referring to reducing our reliance on traditional mall retailer, including department stores, apparel and accessories. We’re transforming our anchor mix with 10 of 11 anchor replacements solidified in less than a year.”

That remaining anchor PREIT identified as at Plymouth Meeting Mall between King of Prussia and Philadelphia. Does that mean that Sears already has someone lined up or, is it semantics because the Sears space is owned by Seritage Growth Properties and not PREIT?

Tilt Studio

Tilt Studio is your Dave and Busters consolation prize — and it might turn out to be better. Some locations boast over 100 arcade games, laser tag, black light mini-golf, mini bowling and bumper cars. Each location has a little bit of a different mix of what’s going to be included. Some Tilt Studio are much, much bigger than others.

Coradino said on the call that the Hagerstown Tilt will be 48,000 square feet with bowling, rides and laser tag.

While the graphics look like they are more teen and kid friendly, it will be interesting to see if this becomes an adult hang out, too. Having time to peruse Tilt’s site, every location looks to be a little different. Most have a basic snack bar and have an appearance that is welcoming for elementary school-aged kids.

Then, check out the massive two-story location in Tempe, Arizona. That is 40,000 square feet and includes a craft kitchen and bar instead of a snack bar and this little note:

Our Taproom at Tilt Studio Bar, also located on the second level, features a wide array of popular beers, bottled or on tap, wine by the glass or bottle, specialty alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails, and delicious frozen drinks. The Taproom will also be the perfect spot to watch your favorite sporting event on dozens of big screen TVs.

One source has said that mall employees were told it will have a bar, which should appease the 21-35-year-old crowd. Just judging by their websites, you can see how Tilt is more family-oriented than Dave & Buster’s and Round 1 Bowling and Amusement. Certainly, leasing agents and their companies did their homework and figured out why one of the above is better for a certain mall over the other. Let’s see if they got Hagerstown right by choosing Tilt, and what version of Tilt Hagerstown will see.

Here’s a news report on the 2016 opening at Eastwood Mall in Niles, Ohio:

Here’s a video on one of their larger locations in Arizona:

Will Tilt feel the same as the old Playland and Fun World on the north end of town? Will it be better? I need to know.

US Fitness/Onelife Fitness Gym

Onelife is a new player to the fitness world, with only two Frederick locations to its name in Maryland.

Both Frederick locations were formerly Sport&Health and feature a pool, turf workout areas, spa-inspired locker rooms, a virtual cycle studio, circuit stations, free weights, 100-plus cardio equipment and a studio for dance, yoga, Pilates and Barre. US Fitness acquired the Sport & Health brand in 2014.

US Fitness executives Kirk and John Galiani shared with the International Health Racquet & Sportsclub Association in 2015 what makes Onelife different from other clubs:

CBI: And you immediately launched Onelife Fitness. What was different about those clubs?

KG: We created Onelife as a destination club model—a sports club with all the amenities. A typical facility features racquetball, basketball, several pools, extensive Kid’s Clubs, women-only areas, private yoga and Pilates rooms, and group cycling studios, as well as large group exercise rooms. We wanted clubs that would appeal to everyone, and that, at around $30 a month, would offer unparalleled value.

JOHN GALIANI: And we wanted a brand that we could define, mold, and control. It’s much easier and more comfortable for us to be leading a brand. It’s not that Gold’s Gym lacked anything; we just wanted to go in our own direction.

Basically, this sounds and looks a little like Merritt Clubs around Baltimore but at half the price. Merritt starts out at $59 a month.

Mall Performance

Valley Mall’s non-anchor occupancy stands at a strong 98.5 percent at the end of the third quarter, according to PREIT’s report. That’s up 1.4 percentage points from the third quarter of last year. Losing Sears took a hit on the overall numbers with 84.1 percent occupancy, down 14.2 percent just from losing one additional anchor.

I wouldn’t read too much into the comp sales figure. The mall is at $404 per square foot for comparable sales at the end of the third quarter, down from $420 for third quarter 2016. That figure takes into account tenants who are under 10,000 square feet and have occupied the space for at least 24 months. The mall has added several new tenants over the past year that aren’t reflected in these numbers and spaces like H&M wouldn’t be counted for its size.

A couple things to keep an eye on for the future: expiring leases.

PREIT’s earnings report shows that JC Penney’s lease ends in 2019 and Regal Cinemas lease ends in 2020. Typically talks would be underway around now to start renewing the JC Penney’s lease. For example, Bon-Ton’s lease is due to expire in 2018 but PREIT purchased the building in July 2017 and brought in Belk.

Regal is renovating theaters across the country by installing king-sized recliners, upgrading projectors, screens, sound systems and in some places, reducing screens and building a bar lounge. The Hagerstown movieplex could use a refresh if it stays on.

Before they even think of Regal’s renewal, all eyes are on a Sears replacement. The company didn’t share any plans for that space, which is owned by Seritage Growth Properties. Seritage has not made any announcements yet for the 109,000-square-foot space.

T.J. Maxx sister store Sierra Trading Post Eyes Frederick Location

Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 11.40.31 AMFREDERICK, Md. — T.J. Maxx sister store Sierra Trading Post is eyeing one its first — if not the first— Maryland locations in Frederick.

A leasing flyer for Riverview Plaza, 5425 Urbana Pike, shows a proposed location for Sierra Trading Post. Think of Sierra Trading Post as an Eddie Bauer or L.L. Bean outlet, but with a variety of brands for outdoor clothing and recreational gear. The company boasts overstock gear from brands like Marmot, Haglofs, Browning and New Balance.

You’ll find fly fishing gear, hiking boots, ski and snowboard gear and clothing and camping supplies.

Sierra Trading Post’s website doesn’t show any Maryland stores on its listing yet. So far, Sierra Trading Post only has 16 stores in 11 states, as of July 29, according to the company’s website. The chain is part of TJX Companies, whose portfolio includes T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods and Homesense. The company is headquartered in Cheyenne, Wyo.

No job openings are advertised for this location as of yet.

Hagerstown Macy’s Building Sold To Valley Mall Owner

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. — The owner of the Valley Mall outside of Hagerstown, Md., has purchased the former Macy’s building.

A landholding company for Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust called PR Valley Anchor M- Limited Partnership, bought the shuttered Macy’s building attached to the Valley Mall for $2.5 million on April 7, according to a deed filed in Washington County.

The building was originally a Hecht’s department store that opened in 1999. Hecht’s was a Baltimore born retailer later owned by May Department Stores. Hecht’s and May Department Stores was acquired by Macy’s parent Federated Department Stores in 2005. The following year, Macy’s replaced Hecht’s name on its buildings, as it did with many other department stores it acquired.

The move gives the mall operator direct control over what goes into that space by being the sole owner. Sometimes malls can have messy relationships with shuttered anchors, with the anchors preferring to sell and market the property themselves to recapture some profit. That could cause a multi-year vacancy.

In March, the Washington County Board of Elections received approval from the Washington County Commissioners for a 20,000 square-foot space in the 120,000-square-foot building, according to a Herald-Mail report. That also shows that the former Macy’s will likely be carved out into multiple spaces for stores, offices and other uses.

 

Torrid, NTB File Building Permits for Valley Mall

160520_logoWASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. — Trendy full-figure clothing store Torrid and car repair shop NTB have both filed building permits for new stores at the Valley Mall in Hagerstown, Md.

Torrid’s permit shows the store expects to have 10 employees and will go into the former CJ Banks space in the JC Penney wing. CJ Banks transformed into a Christopher and Banks a few doors down last year.

An opening date has not been announced. The store’s careers website shows Torrid is accepting applications for a manager, a full-time assistant manager, a part-time assistant manager and store associates.

Also, NTB has filed a site plan for a location along Valley Mall Road and Massey Boulevard for a spot beside Chuck-E-Cheese and Burger King.National_Tire_and_Battery_Logo.jpg

NTB, formerly known as National Tire and Battery, helps replace the shuttered Sears Auto Center where a BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse will be built. Job openings have not been posted for the Hagerstown location.

Both store openings were first reported on this blog in May 2016.

Sarasota Area Media Follow-up on My Westfield Lawsuit Blog

UPDATE: Sometimes there’s an advantage to being late to the party.

The Herald-Tribune filed its version of the Westfield/Benderson/Dillard’s lawsuit on Thursday, which allowed the reporter to really avoid rehashing or going into the lawsuit much at all.

The reporter lucked out that a second operating agreement/easement appeared in the Sarasota County Clerk of the Circuit Court’s system to give the added detail that as many as three tenants could take up the former Dillard’s space.

Maggie Menderski reported that the easement document revealed that a Florida-based furniture store is expected to move in along with another mystery tenant:

Siesta Retail also is pursuing a lease with Naples-based Clive Daniel Home, according to the documents. The home store has a wide inventory of indoor and outdoor furniture as well as bedding, rugs, flooring and window treatments. Smaller items, such as placemats and throw pillows, also are available. The chain launched in 2011 and opened its second store in Boca Raton in February.

The home store is expected to occupy about 33,000 square feet, leaving about 26,000 square feet for a third, unnamed tenant.

As a footnote, it’s interesting to see the second easement being filed as the existence of an updated agreement/easement being filed was one of the issues in court.

Well, since Benderson had tenants lined up now it probably made sense to avoid further issues and write up a new one given the circumstances.

ORIGINAL: Sarasota, Fla., area media have followed up on my Monday blog about the Westfield/Benderson/Dillard’s lawsuit and uncovered a couple items.

(When shall I expect a check, Alex et. al? Or at least a bottle of Siesta Key Rum?)

The Bradenton Herald was first to run a brief Tuesday night, but the Observer managed to move the story forward Wednesday morning revealing that L.A. Fitness will go into that space and the rest will remain to be seen:

An L.A. Fitness will occupy a little less than half of the 96,000-square-foot space, and is scheduled to open in spring of 2017. The firm has applied for a $60,000 building permit for interior renovations to the property, according to city records.

“We are working on the remainder of the space,” Mathes said in an email.

So the excitement continues!

The City of Sarasota also shows its building permit applications online with notes but this one required a phone call and an email with at least the city or Mathes—whomever could respond first—to see what the permit was actually for. All the city’s permit site says is “former Dillard’s Building.”

Several other permits have been stuck in pending for awhile, ranging from recent applications for staging for the project, utilities relocation and tree removal. The biggie—building the first of the new wings—has been pending for over a year and according to a planner’s note from last week, will have a new permit number entered in now that work is anticipated to move forward.

So yes, now that the lawsuit disappeared, all of this can move forward.

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune — the daily paper with the largest circulation and staff in the area — has not published anything on this as of 9 a.m. Wednesday, June 1, so if there’s anything more uncovered out of that paper’s report if they print something, I’ll add it here.

Westfield drops lawsuit against Benderson, Dillard’s in Sarasota mall redevelopment

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(This story is available for freelance opportunities.)

By Charles Schelle

A prolonged lawsuit has been dropped that kept the Westfield Southgate mall in Sarasota, Fla., from being fully redeveloped into Westfield Siesta Key.

Whether it was Dillard’s, Benderson Development’s or Westfield’s fault would have been determined in a jury trial if the case would have been allowed to proceed.

At the very least, the existence of a legal battle delayed redevelopment because why would Benderson Development, who owns the former Dillard’s, work with the operators of Southgate to redevelop that parcel as part of a mall redevelopment when they are being sued and might have had to pay damages if it lost a trial?

And if one of the arguments in a lawsuit is that all of this prevented redevelopment of Southgate from moving forward, it would play well that no matter what, Westfield not to proceed with the added wings and plaza during the lawsuit.

On Aug. 8, 2014, Westfield sued Benderson Development, Taubman Centers and Dillard’s, alleging that those three companies used inside knowledge to attract Dillard’s to build a new store in the also-new The Mall at University Town Center in northern Sarasota County.

Westfield argued in court documents that it was sharing redevelopment information with Dillard’s to expand their store and upgrade offerings with Southgate’s redevelopment to rebrand the mall into Westfield Siesta Key and played the company to instead close the store and go to the Mall at UTC, which is a joint project with Manatee County-based Benderson Development and Taubman.

And Westfield additionally argued that since the overall mall’s expansion was predicated on Dillard’s giving the OK, a withdrawal of consent stalled the continued redevelopment, according to Westfield’s complaint. Without that consent, the mall legally could not redevelop, Westfield argued.

“On April 21, 2014, Dillard sent a letter to the City’s Planning and Development Department purporting to withdraw the Consent of Owner it had already executed nearly five years earlier,” Westfield wrote in its complaint.

Westfield wrote in the complaint that it had restaurants and retailers ready for its new plaza and new retail spaces for expansion. Continue reading Westfield drops lawsuit against Benderson, Dillard’s in Sarasota mall redevelopment