An Australian movie theater chain that offers gourmet meals, fine wines and reclining armchair seats plans to make its Arizona debut at under-construction upscale shopping center Scottsdale Quarter in spring 2010.
Other high-end retailers and restaurants, including several more planning their first-in-Arizona locations will open at the $270 million north Scottsdale project mid-2009, said Glimcher CEO Michael Glimcher.
Ohio-based Glimcher is building the 28-acre, living-shopping-dining-entertainment-office complex south of the Greenway-Hayden Loop and Scottsdale Road.
Germany-based consumer products giant Dial Corp. still sits on a portion of the land. Dial is expected to vacate the property and move into its new headquarters at Loop 101 and Scottsdale Road next month.
But Glimcher has already been building Scottsdale Quarter on empty portions of the property and will have the first phase of shops topped by offices open in spring 2009, Glimcher said.
And the line-up includes some coveted retail names not yet in the state.
Low-priced global fashion retailer H&M and West Elm, the contemporary furniture arm of Williams-Sonoma, have already said they plan to open stores in the north Scottsdale shopping center next year.
So will Williams-Sonoma Home, which features the gourmet cookware and home furnishing retailer’s more traditional, high-quality products, Glimcher said.
“This will be one of 10 in the country,” he said
Oakville Grocery, a California-based gourmet food store — think mini-AJ’s — with outdoor bistro and goodies-to-go also plans to open in early 2009, Glimcher said.
Ruth Chris’ parent’s Cameron’s Steakhouse, Dallas-based martini bar Martini Park, and Los Angeles-based boutique eatery Parc are other new-to-Arizona food establishments planning to open in 2009, Glimcher said.
Already signed on but planning debuts in 2010 are Walnut Creek, Calif.-based Bing Crosby’s Restaurant, a Hollywood-style supper club and piano lounge, Mitchell’s Fish Market, Momenti Café, an Illy-based coffee bar, Santorini Mediterranean Cuisine and Tutta La Casa, both local but new concepts, the latter the latest from prolific Scottsdale-based restaurateur Sam Fox.
Two eateries already in the Valley — Brio Tuscan Grille and StingRay — are also planning Scottsdale Quarter spots, Glimcher said.
By far the most unusual Scottsdale Quarter offering, however, is the Village Roadshow Gold Class Cinema. Glimcher said he snagged a deal with the Australian luxury movie theater chain for a 2010 opening.
“We think it will fit very well in Scottsdale,” Glimcher said.
Gold Class Cinemas announced earlier this year that it would invade U.S. luxury shopping meccas with its posh movie-watching experience. The cinemas target affluent movie-lovers willing to fork over $35 a person to see a first–run film in luxurious surroundings.
Each Gold Class Cinema features a maximum of 40 luxury reclining armchair seats, and state-of-the-art technology, the company said.
And forget the popcorn and Jujubes, the Gold Class refreshment center includes such menu items as black truffle arancini and chickpea croquette with light tahini sauce prepared by on-site chefs. There is a full-service bar, and guests who don’t want to miss a minute of the on-screen action can push a service button at their seat to call for a personal waiter.
Gold Class Cinemas said in March it plans to build as many as 50 U.S. theaters within five years.
Altogether, Glimcher plans to create space for about 75 to 80 shops and restaurants at Scottsdale Quarter, most of them scheduled to open in the first two phases of the project, Glimcher said.
A third phase, which will include condos and a hotel and does not have a planned completion date, will include about 15 or so retailers, Glimcher said.
For the final portion of the project, Glimcher is partnering with California-based developer The Wolff Company. Wolff is already developing several other Valley hotels.
Glimcher said he was able to attract such coveted retailers in such a down economy by having such a Scottsdale Road location midway between the chic urban downtown Scottsdale condos and the posh, large residences of far north Scottsdale. Also, the project is completely financed, a rare situation in the tight credit market, he said.
“Having the best site is always No. 1, having financing is a big competitive advantage,” he said. “Clearly there has been a slowdown of retail development nationally, but we’re not seeing it. People are signing 10-year leases. And we’re not making concessions based on price.”
Scottsdale Quarter is across the street from the hugely successful Kierland Commons, but Glimcher said he sees the two projects as complimentary not competitive.
“Kierland Commons is very Norman Rockwell, we’re more Andy Warhol, edgier, younger,” Glimcher said. “We don’t want to be the PC, we want to be the Mac.”