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Retail Wisdom: Frisco Mall Makes Preservation Efforts via Kidzania, Hyatt Hotel and Amazon 4-Star

Retail stores have been on the down-swing for the past decade or so. This of course isn't breaking news or even a surprise to any of us here in the commercial real estate industry, as the colossal rise of online shopping shows no sign of stopping anytime soon and demand for large brick-and-mortar retail spaces have gone down. The Dallas market is no exception to the rule, but some wise retailers in the area are staying ahead of the curve by paying close attention to consumer trends and supplying what seems to be in the highest demand: Experiences.


With Stonebriar Centre rounding out its second decade of being the premier shopping destination in Frisco and surrounding cities, first opening its doors August 2000, it has made some serious moves to weather the retail storm by bringing in some major key players:


1. KidZania USA:

A peek inside the brand new city built for kids and run by kids | Photo courtesy of KidZania USA

Slated to open November 23rd at Stonebriar Centre in Frisco, KidZania is "a city built for kids run by kids" according to their website. KidZania is empowering young minds to be whomever they aspire to be. The 80,000 square foot indoor experience is interactive and immersive. Kids learn to fight fires, pilot airplanes, act in plays, design robots, perform surgery, go on secret missions and more – all while enhancing their social and emotional skills and envisioning what’s possible for their future.


With cobblestone walkways and illuminated blue sky ceilings, there are more than 50 businesses and over 100 occupations for kids ages 4-14 to explore. KidZania's experiences are curriculum-based and our city is highly secure and fully accessible.

Kids can pretend to be firefighters in this immersive and educational experience | Photo courtesy of KidZania USA
"It inspires them to ultimately become something... to think differently about the world and all the different careers they can have," KidZania chief marketing officer Suzie Tsai | Photo courtesy of KidZania USA

Although this is the first location to open in the U.S., it is the 29th in the world. With 28 other locations all around the globe in 22 different countries, KidZania is one of the fastest growing global educational entertainment brands, originating in Mexico City in 1999.


Another major benefit to this exciting new development is the creation of hundreds of new jobs. At least 300 employees have already been hired, with the total number of jobs expected to be around 500.



2. Hyatt Regency Stonebriar


If you have driven by Stonebriar Centre in the last year or so, you've likely noticed the large structure rising above the mall from the north side. Say hello to Hyatt Regency Stonebriar, or "Frisco Hyatt".

Hyatt Regency Stonebriar - Photo Courtesy of HKS Architects Dallas

This gleaming glass tower nestled between KidZania and Nordstrom will have 18 stories, 303 rooms, two ballrooms as well as several meeting spaces. To accommodate the expected influx of cars from its occupants, they are also adding a parking garage that will hold up to 800 cars.


The hotel is projected to open in April 2020. They are already working with their neighbors, KidZania, to create bundle packages for visitors expected from out of town coming to the exciting attraction. Although this is the first location in the United States "it's already a proven concept around the world." said VP Daniel Moon of Sam Moon Group, owners of the Frisco Hyatt. "We are confident the Hyatt Regency Stonebriar will re-energize the area around the Stonebriar Centre mall, which opened in August 2000 and offer visitors to Frisco a luxurious and convenient experience."


Jeff Cheney, Mayor of Frisco, is also optimistic of what this hotel will bring to the nearly 20-year-old shopping mall. "This public-private partnership represents Frisco's commitment to reinvest in Stonebriar Centre, long considered Frisco's first economic engine dating back to 2000. We believe this project helps keep our successful Stonebriar stay fresh and relevant." he said in a recent statement.


More details will be posted on their website as they become available, but for now we are looking forward to seeing this beauty completed next April.


3. Amazon 4-Star

In what is perhaps a most unexpected and counter-intuitive twist, the online retail giant, whom many might consider to be a major contributor to the downfall of brick-and-mortar stores, Amazon has begun opening just that - physical store locations.

Amazon 4-Star at Stonebriar Centre. Photo Courtesy of Amazon.com

Moving into the coveted space at Stonebriar Centre that long-belonged to Apple, Amazon is taking a chance on the fact that local shoppers want to touch, feel and experience products in person before they checkout, unlike an online shopping experience.


Amazon 4-Star promises customers the ability to test drive Amazon devices and discover books, electronics, toys, games, smart home products, and more. The store is only to carry products which, of course, have received four or more stars through verified reviews on their website.


The store is open to the public, however if you are a current Prime member, you will recieve preferential treatment in the form of only paying the price listed on the website instead of the retail store price.


They are also pulling customers in with exciting and relevant in-store events. For example, Fortnite In-Store Events and Giveaways, and book signing events such as the Martha Stewart Cookbook Signing scheduled for December 12th at their Manhattan location.


You can check for store details and upcoming events on their website here.

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