Texas Real Estate Business

MAY 2016

Texas Real Estate Business magazine covers the multifamily, retail, office, healthcare, industrial and hospitality sectors in Texas.

Issue link: https://texasrealestatebusiness.epubxp.com/i/674650

Contents of this Issue


Page 44 of 49

Of the existing centers, 15 are lo- cated in Texas, with six locations in the Dallas area, one in Austin, two in metro San Antonio, four in metro Houston, one in the Rio Grande Val- ley and one in Lubbock. In Oklahoma, Main event operates one location in Oklahoma City and one in Tulsa. Ed Toohey, director of real estate at Main Event, says it's the variety of op- tions that help make the company a success. "Main Event started when our founder realized traditional bowling was losing relevance," says Toohey. "He decided to shift the concept and make it a bowling-anchored entertain- ment center with multiple options to capture the social aspect of bowling." Toohey says the multitude of op- tions mean there is something for ev- eryone. A group of fve may decide to go to Main Event, with all fve going for a diferent reason. Families account for about 65 per- cent of the company's core audience, with the other 35 percent consisting of adults without kids. Main Event's locations are strong tenants in a re- tail center, Toohey says, because they drive a lot of trafc. "We like to enter retail centers where we see high-quality brands and cat- egory leaders much like ourselves," says Toohey. "At the same time, our business is strong in all seasons. We're busy year-round and drive consistent trafc to our centers." Main Event Entertainment locations typically span 50,000 square feet, with 350 parking spaces and between 120 and 150 employees. The company tends to locate near a highway to help drive trafc and awareness. During the site selection process for new centers, the company looks at residential density and demographic profles representing potential users. Factors are considered such as day- time population and number of busi- nesses in the trade area. "We like to position ourselves in regional entertainment, dining and retail centers with a strong freeway presence," says Toohey. "Our centers serve in excess of 500,000 guests per year, which requires access to a large population from a regional activity center." Main Event leases its properties, but has also employed a program allow- ing the company to purchase land, construct its building and harness the demand in the sale-leaseback market. Top Experience at Topgolf Like Main Event Entertainment, Topgolf is an updated take on a famil- iar concept. The Dallas-based private company has redefned the golf driv- ing range experience. Customers enter a multi-tiered plat- form and play games using a comput- er screen set up at individual stations. The format of the game is a combina- tion of golf and Skee ball. The golf balls are equipped with microchips and points are recorded when they en- ter targets laid throughout the range. "Topgolf is an experience, it's not just hitting a few golf balls," says Zach Shor, Topgolf's vice president of real estate development. There are now 21 Topgolf locations in the United States, and three in Eng- land. In Texas, there are four metro Dallas locations, one in Austin, one in San Antonio and three in Houston. There is also a center in Oklahoma City. The company's biggest demograph- ic profle is males aged 18-34. Also like Main Event, food is a major draw for customers. The majority of food is made from scratch in an on-site kitch- en. "The great combination of a whole new golf-based game, great service, food and drinks and the ability to host a corporate or group event have all led Topgolf to become successful," Shor says. "Having our experience based on an aspirational sport with a traditionally high barrier to entry helps as well. We tear down those barriers, and al- low golf to be social, quick and fun." Topgolf plans to expand rapidly, opening between seven and 10 new venues a year for the foreseeable fu- ture. Shor describes it as a "total ex- perience," providing fun from the mo- ment customers enter to the moment they leave. He says the company is typically seen as an anchor tenant and a destination retailer. Typical sites take 10-15 acres and draw 450,000 visitors annually. The company usually looks for sites with highway visibility near ofce or high-volume retail areas, in regional locations that can draw a large portion of the local market. Topgolf generally leases the land on which it operates. "A typical guest drives from 10 to 15 miles away, so we like to make sure we're as accessible to as many people as we can," Shor says. New Rules at Alamo Tim and Karrie League founded Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in 1997. The frst location was in Austin, and while the company has since grown to 28 locations, it remains headquartered in the Texas capital. There are 18 Alamo theaters in Tex- as, with seven in the Austin area, two in metro Dallas, three in the Houston area, four in metro San Antonio, one in Lubbock and one in Laredo. Neil Billingsley-Michaelsen is an Alamo Drafthouse franchisee. He is president and CEO of Triple Tap Ven- tures, the owner and operator of the company's Houston area locations, and also holds franchising rights in El Paso and Lubbock. Billingsley-Michaelsen is set to open a nine-screen Alamo location in Impe- rial Market, an 850,000-square-foot mixed-use development under con- struction in the Houston suburb of Sugar Land. The experience at Alamo difers from a traditional movie theater in many ways. In addition to upscale food and local craft beers served dur- ing the flm, the company is known for its strict policies requiring proper etiquette. Pop sing- er Madonna was famously banned from the chain for texting during a movie in 2013. Locations tend to range between 30,000 and 40,000 square feet, attract- ing 500,000 visitors a year. However, the theaters utilize less parking than might be expected. "We use half the parking per-square- foot compared to a traditional cin- ema," Billingsley- Michaelsen says. "Within our box, every other row of seats is removed to allow a walkway for servers. "From a de- veloper standpoint, Alamo is attrac- tive because it brings a lot of trafc." The typical customer at Alamo is a movie lover, who will drive from any- where within a 15-mile radius for the experience. Children under 18 years of age aren't allowed into most flms with- out a parent. There is a program to allow younger patrons the right to en- ter, but they must apply and answer questions to show they are true movie lovers. "We are not a teenage dropof spot," Billingsley-Michaelsen says. "Alamo draws a consumer with discretionary income to spend." Kitchens at Alamo Drafthouse Cin- ema serve around 800 meals per hour, with everything made to order and most food made-from-scratch. The design of the exterior varies from lo- cation to location. Alamo is a private company that owns some of its locations and leases others. Experience-Based Retail Daniel Taylor, head of retail for the Texas/Oklahoma division of CBRE, says entertainment-based retail is a growing segment nationally. "It seems like people aren't satisfed by just going to the movies anymore," he says. "These companies are try- ing to diferentiate themselves." Taylor notes the strong alcohol sales at Top Golf, Main Event and Alamo lo- cations, which are a signifcant source of revenue. Developers are taking notice, with some building themed developments with multiple entertainment businesses together. "Instead of a power center or gro- cery-anchored center, you're seeing developers try Topgolf as more of an anchor to bring in other concepts around them," Taylor says. The broad appeal of these compa- nies is also important, as they can eas- ily accommodate a family of four, a company outing or a date. "Developers are looking at how to get people into their projects," says Taylor. "It's important to be unique and to have a niche. It's not just go- ing to dinner if they are staying to bowl, golf or watch a movie. It's more people spending more time and more money at your project." n Dallas-based Main Event Entertainment locations typically span 50,000 square feet, with 350 parking spaces and between 120 and 150 employees. 44 • May 2016 • Texas Real Estate Business www.REBusinessOnline.com TEXAS-BASED COMPANIES DRIVING RETAIL TRENDS RETAILERS from page 1 Ed Toohey Main Event Entertainment Zach Shor Topgolf Neil Billingsley- Michaelsen Triple Tap Ventures

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