Gulfstream Park and Forest City Enterprises on Dec. 9 announced details for their scheduled Feb. 11, 2010 opening of the retail portion of the Village at Gulfstream Park.
Gulfstream and Cleveland-based Forest City also announced eight new tenants, bringing total leases to 85 at the first phase of the retail complex being built on Gulfstream’s property in Hallandale Beach, Fla.
Magna Entertainment Corp., Gulfstream’s parent, and Forest City are joint venture partners in the Village of Gulfstream Park, which has 1 million square feet. They plan to spend $244.7 million on the complex that also would have residential and office buildings, and a hotel. The partners have not announced timetables for starting construction on the non-retail components.
At a news conference at Gulfstream on Dec. 9, Forest City president of east coast development Brian Ratner said the 750,000 square foot retail project would be the first on the same property as a major U.S. racetrack.
Sidewalks connect Gulfstream’s clubhouse building and the Village at Gulfstream Park, which is directly west. The retail complex’s entrances are on Federal Highway, which also has entrances for the racetrack.
Ratner and Ken Dunn, Gulfstream’s president and general manager, said the goal will be co-promotion of the components. They hope that shoppers and restaurant goers at the non-enclosed retail center will take a short walk to Gulfstream’s clubhouse and apron area for live racing, simulcasts, slot machines and poker. Gulfstream is considering having calls of live races and announcements of minutes to post piped in throughout the retail complex, Dunn said.
If any stores or restaurants agree, Gulfstream might set up TVs that carry races and self-service betting machines in them, Dunn added.
“We need to determine whether we would prefer people to be there for betting or to walk 200 yards over to here (track and clubhouse),” he said.
The retail complex includes a three-story parking garage that also will be open to race-goers and casino-players. That will expand the property’s parking from about 5,000 to 6,700.
Finding parking has been a problem at Gulfstream on many Saturdays with major stakes, and adding several thousand shoppers could make the situation even tighter.
Dunn said Gulfstream is already considering plans for satellite parking in nearby locations.
Forest City broke ground on the Village of Gulfstream Park in July 2007. Completion of the retail phase has been delayed several times amid the recession—which has been particularly hard on the real estate and retail industries in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale market.
On Dec. 9, work was continuing on many of the interiors and some exteriors of stores and restaurants. The only tenants open are furniture/housewares store Crate and Barrel and restaurant Texas de Brazil.
The tenants announced on Dec. 9 were a mixture of theme restaurants and clothiers—similar to the overall tenant list.
Gulfstream and Forest City also announced they will hold a series of parties, day time and evening, at the Village of Gulfstream Park on Feb. 11 and Feb. 12. Gulfstream will have nine races on both days, starting at 1:15 p.m. EDT.
The track’s 2010 meet will be from Jan. 3 until April 24, with live racing Wednesdays through Sundays.
Dunn joined Gulfstream on Nov. 2, succeeding Bill Murphy as president and general manager. He held those positions at Calder Race Course, eight miles west of Gulfstream, from 1990 through April 2008.
On Dec. 9, Dunn said Gulfstream will begin its meet with projected average daily overnight purses of $216,000 and average daily stakes purses of $90,000. He said the track hopes to have handle that will keep overnights at least at that level partly due to its revised schedule for stakes in early January.
On Jan. 9, Gulfstream will have its inaugural Gulfstream Sprint Showcase with five sprint stakes. That card includes the $100,000 Old Hat, the $100,000 Mr. Prospector, and the $100,000 Sugar Swirl—all grade III events
“The goal is to get attention from around the country at the beginning of our meet,” Dunn said.
Gulfstream has traditionally had stakes on all Saturdays and Sundays in January. “But there was a gap of big days from opening day through the Sunshine Millions,” Dunn said.
The 2010 Sunshine Millions, with races at Gulfstream and Santa Anita Park, will be on Jan. 30.
At Calder, Dunn built the stakes schedule around big-day events including the Summit of Speed and Festival of the Sun.
Magna has been under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection since March 2009. It has set auction dates for several of its racetracks, but not for Gulfstream.
Dunn said Magna’s bankruptcy and the possibility that it could sell Gulfstream are not impacting plans for the upcoming race meet and for other operations at Gulfstream.