Tag Archives: Village Pointe

Retail Centers

May 25, 2013 by
Photography by Malone & Co.

For some of the Omaha area’s newest and most cutting-edge retail developments, 2012 was a successful year during a time when the national economic climate was still uncertain, and 2013 is so far looking good, say representatives.

“Both shopping centers had solid sales performances overall for 2012 and the 2012 holiday season, and of course, some retailers reported considerable sales increases compared to last year,” says Kim Jones, marketing director for both Shadow Lake Towne Center, located at 72nd Street and Highway 370 in Papillion, and Village Pointe, located at 168th Street and West Dodge Road in Omaha. The two developments are managed and leased by RED Development, based in Phoenix, Ariz.

“Both centers welcomed new tenants in 2012. And we will be making announcements for both properties soon. There’s a great interest in both shopping centers and that just means that retail is certainly coming back after we’ve had some leaner years during the recession.”

“If we look at year-over-year sales development-wide, we saw retail sales up 12 percent. I think our retailers will tell you, they’re happy and cautiously optimistic about the future, given the trend lines,” says Molly Skold, marketing director for Midtown Crossing in the Turner Park area near 33rd and Farnam streets. “Our anchor tenants are also doing well. Wohlner’s (Grocery and Deli) was up 31 percent in March, year-over-year, and Element, Marcus, and Prairie Life have all seen double-digit growth.

“Our condo sales are doing extremely well also. From January to April 2013, we have had 18 new contracts; that’s a 63 percent increase, year-over-year, from 2012.”

Regarding plans for 2013, Skold adds: “We currently have two letters of intent from potential retail tenants. Tenants looking at our development are service-type tenants and specialty stores. And we have an olive oil concept store, Chef Squared, opening in June.”

The 2012 retail year wasn’t without its challenges. One retail sector that has struggled somewhat is apparel, Skold reports, and its performance has slightly modified the outlook for Midtown Crossing’s development.

“The apparel industry nationwide has performed lower than expectations. In 2012, we actually saw one of our apparel stores close its doors, a national chain,” she says. “The apparel industry is opening fewer and fewer stores nationwide. We would have thought that, at this point, we’d have more boutiques or apparel stores.”

“Having community ties is very important to us because we want to make sure that our community knows that we’re invested and that we want to serve them beyond just providing great retail.” – Kim Jones, marketing director with Shadow Lake Towne Center and Village Pointe

However, the apparel sector may be gaining some steam in 2013, Skold says. “Currently, we have five apparel retailers interested in specific spaces—doing drawings, looking at plans, expansions, etc. We are encouraged by the activity.”

Another ongoing concern in the retail industry is that online shopping, which continues to grow, may funnel away sales from its tangible counterpart—shopping centers and freestanding stores. Jones says, however, that there is plenty of room for both channels. “While online sales are certainly not going away, you can continue to see lots of brick-and-mortar and online retailing in concert together, so it’s really just giving the shopper more of an advantage,” she says.

Both Skold and Jones say some of the success of their respective developments lies in how they are structured to reach beyond merely retail services to support a lifestyle and serve as neighborhoods in and of themselves.

“The lifestyle center is currently predominant, but you’ll see it evolve in what kind of tenants it brings in. In some cases, it will hybridize. For example, Shadow Lake is a hybrid with the power center, which is on the perimeter with the big boxes, while the lifestyle center is on the main street,” Jones explains. “So together they offer a different kind of shopping center for Papillion and the community beyond.”

Skold says Midtown Crossing’s growth and development centered around four anchors, with restaurants and retailers developing out next, and service providers coming onboard more recently to round out the development as it passes 90 percent occupancy.

“Those last 10 percent of types of retailers we’ll be looking for are those service-type of stores that really will be providing services and products to our guests and visitors and residents alike,” Skold says, adding that 2012 events and activities, including the new holiday celebration Miracle on Farnam and the summer Architects of Air exhibit, add to Midtown Crossing’s ambiance and image. “I think we have moved from development to a neighborhood,” she says. “I think we have met our goal of Midtown becoming a destination rather than a pass-through.”

Midtown Crossing will also open The Pavilion at Turner Park, which will provide a permanent stage and infrastructure to the center, ideal to host many entertainment and shopping events on the grounds and predicted to draw many new shoppers. “The Pavilion is a stunning addition to Omaha’s Turner Park,” Skold says. “Omahans are in for truly amazing treat!” The structure is scheduled to be complete by the first Jazz on the Green concert July 11th.

Creating community spirit is also an important part of Village Pointe’s and Shadow Lake Towne Center’s identities, Jones says.

“Having community ties is very important to us because we want to make sure that our community knows that we’re invested and that we want to serve them beyond just providing great retail,” Jones explains. “We want to be a place where they come even if they’re not going to shop. It may be to enjoy one of the concerts during one of our concert series or an event that’s going on like a charity walk or something of that nature, or various attractions we have throughout the year. So while they’re retail centers, we also like to consider them community centers.”

brix Breaks New Ground

November 25, 2012 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

After more than 20 years traveling the country selling E&J Gallo wine, Dan Matuszek was ready for something different but still very familiar.

An entrepreneur at heart, it had been his ambition for several years to open his own wine and spirits retail space—but he didn’t want it to stop there. His business vision included a bistro where people could meet, have dinner, and drink some great wine, as well as offer an events center for parties and gatherings throughout the year.

It took him a couple of years to put all the pieces together, but Matuszek realizes his dream every day he goes to work at brix in Village Pointe. His second location—currently under construction in Midtown Crossing and due for its grand opening January 10th—will have a similar vibe but with a very different layout and intent.

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“We are responding to the market need in that area for this type of business where people have a place to meet after work or on the weekends, have some great food and drinks, or stop by on their way home to grab a couple of bottles or whatever they might need,” said Matuszek, relocated to Omaha from his native Wisconsin with his wife, who is from the area, in 1992.

“We have a great young chef, Erik Rickard, and our focus in Midtown is going to be to provide a great dining experience first. The location (former Republic of Couture spot) has a great veranda that holds 150, where people can sit and listen to Jazz on the Green or just relax with a meal and a great glass of wine.”

Unlike the Village Pointe location, which opened in 2009—first with the retail space and then the bistro and events center followed several months later—all three spaces will open simultaneously at the Midtown Crossing restaurant.

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In addition to the usual fare—including imported Enomatic dispensing machines that allow guests to sample various wines by using a prepaid smart card—the Midtown spot will have more than 28 varieties of draft beer (unavailable at the Village Pointe location) and a mixologist for custom cocktails and craft drinks, a growing national trend.

Originally, Matuszek was looking to open a second location in the Old Market but couldn’t find the right building and location that would work for his brand. He was approached by Midtown Crossing more than a year ago about opening there, but, again, the right location wasn’t available at the time.

When the Republic of Couture closed in July—offering the right amount of space and built-in traffic—Matuszek and his business partners snatched up the location within a few days and started remodeling the space in August.

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“Our new location will have the largest selection of beer in the city, great wine selection, a full menu, and a full experience,” Matuszek said. “The time is definitely right, and where else but in America can you build a locally owned business from scratch like brix? I wake up every day and never have to go to work because I love and believe in what I do. We want our guests to experience that same feeling when they come to enjoy a meal or glass of wine at brix.”

For more information about brix, including upcoming specials or to rent space in the events center at either location, visit brixomaha.com