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SCOTTSDALE, AZ-Glimcher Ventures Southwest LLC is preparing to open the Boulevard, its first entertainment retail concept encompassing 250,000 sf in Surprise, AZ. The flagship project, formerly dubbed Shoppes at Surprise Pointe, will pave the way for similar developments in the area that will break ground in early 2009.

The Boulevard, Surprise Pointe’s first-phase tenants include UltraStar Cinemas, Howie’s Game Shack a PC and Xbox gaming center operator; the Play Factory and an indoor play and party facility. A variety of restaurants, from fast food, to casual dining, are also in place in the center at Waddell and Litchfield Roads. The second phase, Boulevard 300 is scheduled to open in November 2008, and will include a bowling alley with a specialized food and drink ordering system.

David Glimcher, president of Glimcher Ventures Southwest, says the concept behind the Boulevard is to bring together entertainment and dining to one location, much as the lifestyle concept brought together various complementary stores in retail centers during the late 1990s. The entertainment centers will be from 250,000 sf to 400,000 sf and will serve high-end to middle-income demographics.

“What we’re trying to create is a confluence of multiple types of entertainment in one location,” Glimcher remarks. “It includes food. It includes a movie theater. It includes laser tag, an arcade and other entertainment-based restaurants.” Some of the projects will also have hotels tied in with them, he adds.

In researching the concept, Glimcher tells GlobeSt.com he discovered a couple of things. The first was that people like to be entertained, but generally have to travel to more than one place for their entertainment. Second, “in the era we’re living in, with high gas prices, people can go to one location for multiple forms of entertainment with the Boulevard concept,” Glimcher adds.

The Boulevard, Surprise, will open within the next week, and Glimcher says two other locations in the Phoenix area are targeted for ground-up development of future Boulevards. Though he declined to comment on specifics, he did say the second location would be on Phoenix’s west side, while the other will be on the east side. “We’ll start it here, and grow it throughout Arizona,” he says. “We’re also looking at locations in California.”

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