The United Development Company, based in Southlake, TX, has recently undertaken a project to transform a 60,000-square-foot abandoned movie theater into a retail space with a grocery store as the anchor. The movie theater in question, a former United Artist Theater, was acquired by United Development back in 2015. The theater is located at the intersection of Carrier Parkway and Westchester Parkway, and it is only one of 11 properties in the United Artist portfolio acquired by the development company in the middle of 2015.
The current plan for the new retail space is to remodel the existing 40,000-sqaure-foot portion of the property that holds the theater itself into an anchor store for the space. United Development is in talks with Sprouts, a grocery store chain that is most likely going to take the space. A second grocery store chain is supposedly also on the potential ballot.
The CEO of United Development, Biff McGuire, says the old theater provided a perfect opportunity for restoring commerce to the less-traveled parts of the city. Since the theater was already emptied, it would require little effort to reform into a retail space. The primary remodeling will involve leveling the floors, removing unnecessary walls and separators, and adding the equipment and HVAC necessary for the restaurants and other vendors that will take up residence in the new retail park.
So far, the development company has already started construction on a Starbucks, an R Taco, and a Panera Bread within the space. Of the space in the center, a remaining 7,000 square feet is available for any retail giants, and it has been estimated that there will be enough room to fit one more restaurant. If everything is designed to be optimally space efficient, there should be no problem with an additional vendor.
United Development hopes to have the buildings already under construction finished before the start of 2017, and the remaining stores, like the yet to be signed grocery store, will open shortly after. The company has already started a marketing campaign to find a retailer and restaurant to fill the unsold space.
The plan for the remainder of the construction revolves around the completion of the remaining architectural plans, which are expected to be finished before Labor Day of 2016. The Grand Prairie United Artists theater is one of only three theaters in the United Artists portfolio purchased by United Development that will be remodeled.