Main Street Commons gears up - East Valley Tribune: Business

Main Street Commons gears up

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Posted: Wednesday, December 28, 2005 5:27 am | Updated: 9:33 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Main Street Commons, the luxury shopping center under construction at the southeast corner of Val Vista Drive and Pecos Road in Gilbert, has landed a 14-screen movie theater and a batch of coveted shops and restaurants.

Several, including Face Me Luxury Cosmetics & Skin Care, a Tucson apothecary, and Francesca’s, which claims to sell clothing and "lifestyle accessories from around the world," plan to open their first Valley versions at the Gilbert shopping center.

Others, including Blue Wasabi Sushi & Martini Bar and Blossoms and BBZ, a boutique catering to young fashion lovers, will bring luxury stores and eateries to the south East Valley.

Woodbine Southwest president Buzz Gosnell said Tuesday that 14 tenants have signed on for the first phase of the planned 550,000-square foot retail-officeentertainment project, the town center-like focus for The Spectrum at Val Vista, a 1,470-acre master planned community. The retailers expect to debut in "late 2006 or early 2007," Gosnell said.

Woodbine had previously announced plans for a Mountainside Fitness Center and a Thomasville furniture showroom complex in land adjacent to the Main Street core. Another 4.4 acres has been set aside for two hotels. The rapidly filling up Santan Motorplex, 132 acres of auto showrooms, is also part of Spectrum at Val Vista.

Woodbine, which developed Kierland Commons in the Scottsdale-Phoenix border, designed Main Street Commons to be just as upscale as Kierland, but bigger and have more family-focused businesses.

Besides about 500,000 square feet of shops and restaurants, Gosnell plans to add a boutique hotel atop some of the stores and the movie theater above others. The rest will be topped with offices, similar to Kierland Commons executive suites.

Unlike theater-less Kierland Commons, Woodbine landed a Cinemark 14-plex For Main Street Commons.

The theaters will feature wall-to-wall screens, stadium seating, rocking-back chairs with cup holders and the latest in digital sound.

Cinemark, which has more than 3,300 screens in 310 theaters nationwide, had previously announced plans to make its local debut in May at another East Valley location, the Mesa Riverview project.

Kierland Common’s reputation helped Woodbine woo some retailers from that shopping center, including Tommy Bahama and Blossoms and BBZ, to Gilbert.

Among the more unusual tenants for the Gilbert center is Taglio Salon & Wine Bar, where you can get a haircut and sip a rare vintage.

The office and hotel components, plus a much larger than Kierland Commons central park for gathering, viewing a concert or staging a community event add to the town center ambiance, Gosnell said.

Gosnell admitted Woodbine is competing for tenants with mall builder Westcor, which revised plans for a regional shopping center near the Woodbine project, turning it instead into a luxury shopping center.

But Gosnell said Main Street Commons’ design as a downtown core is helping to persuade some of the coveted retailers to sign on with Woodbine instead of Westcor.

"We think we provide a point of difference that tenants can appreciate. (Westcor) does a great job of developing retail, but we’re developing a mixeduse, Main Street environment, a place where people will want to go, not just to shop," Gosnell said.

It’s about time that retailers recognized Gilbert’s great demographics, said Mayor Steve Berman.

"We have the second best demographics in the state after Paradise Valley," Berman said.

"We’ve always had a high quality of living. We always felt we were as entitled to the cachet as Scottsdale. We just don’t have the resorts — or Babe’s (Cabaret — a topless bar)."

Main Street Commons and Westcor’s SanTan Village will keep Gilbert residents’ purchases — and sales tax receipts — in town, he said.

"If you’re living in Gilbert and have a high disposable income, and you are wearing a man’s suit that cost more than $1,000, you probably didn’t buy it in Gilbert. If you are wearing shoes that cost more than $300, you probably didn’t buy them in Gilbert," Berman said.

"We have wonderful grocery stores, but we just haven’t had the high-end retailers. It will be nice for Gilbert people to shop here. We couldn’t be more excited."

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