Gainesville Retail Development Giants Focus On ‘Experience’

by MR Magazine Staff

Sprawling retail developments linked by a new bridge over Interstate 75 promise to reshape the shopping experience in Gainesville. Some of the anchor tenants are in place, but some of the most anticipated entrants into the market are yet to open their doors. Celebration Pointe and Butler Town Center are being designed with walkable centerpieces to feature entertainment, popular dining and higher-end retail in order appeal to families and friends looking for a day out. They join similar developments around the nation that encourage customers to linger, offering experiences they can’t find online. Celebration Pointe markets itself as a place to “celebrate,” said Sean McIntosh, senior vice president of asset management for Celebration Pointe. “We see this as a place to celebrate so many things, from graduations to (University of Florida) sports teams,” McIntosh said. “This is a place to celebrate and come and do all of that.” Celebration Pointe’s pedestrian-only City Walk and Promenade, once its first phase of construction is complete, will be about 200 feet long by 50 feet wide, lined with retailers and restaurants. It will have gas fire pits, grassy areas, outlets for patrons to charge their phones, a bocce ball court and about 20 restaurants and retailers combined, McIntosh said. Read more at The Gainesville Sun.