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WPG Inks Family Entertainment Concept To Anchor Mall Redevelopment



The newest addition to Great Lakes Mall exhibits the adaptive reuse of former department store space.
There’s no question that the times are changing in the shopping mall industry, as things that worked in the past may not be as relevant in all markets. That’s especially true when it comes to anchor tenants, as there have been some high-profile closures of once venerable retailers. Such developments can be a real setback for landlords, but it also presents a fantastic opportunity to remake the mall as a whole into one that resonates with today’s consumers.

Great Lakes Mall

As Crain’s Cleveland Business shares, that’s exactly what Washington Prime Group is doing with its Great Lakes Mall in Lake County, Ohio. The company has signed a deal with Round 1, a fast-growing family entertainment concept, to slide into a high-visibility anchor space that was previously occupied by a Dillard’s Men’s Store. Dillard’s has previously announced plans to consolidate its department stores into a single renovated anchor space at the mall, and that left WPG with some substantial space to fill. Enter Round 1, which checks off all the boxes that innovative landlords are looking for as a centerpiece for redevelopment projects.  

“Entertainment, food, and beverage play an important role as we continue to diversify tenancy, as well as - plain and simple - make our assets more fun. The addition of Round 1 illustrates this objective via a dynamic venue catering to all ages with a bunch of cool activities from bowling to virtual gaming to karaoke,” Lou Conforti, CEO, and Director of WPG said in a press release. “This newest addition to Great Lakes Mall also exhibits the adaptive reuse of former department store space.”

Round 1

Round 1 will occupy 50,000 square feet at the Great Lakes Mall. The entertainment center and restaurant will offer more than 14 bowling lanes, pool tables, ping pong tables, arcades with more than 270 games, karaoke rooms, and dart machines. In short, it’s an attraction that will get visitors to linger, and it promises to be a big traffic driver for the property. According to the Round 1 website, the company’s locations attract more than 100,000 visitors a year. 

“We are excited to welcome Round 1, as well as other future new tenants,” said Tony Pestyk, General Manager of Great Lakes Mall. “This investment reflects our commitment to the community and will provide our guests with an increasingly dynamic environment in which to shop, dine and spend time together.”

This is the second Round 1 to take over some prime space in the WPG portfolio. Back in February, the company announced the addition of Round 1 to replace a former department store space at Northwoods Mall in Peoria, IL.

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