Danbury Fair shopping center will add a striking new attraction

JThe Danbury Fair shopping center will soon add a target to its range, but shopping centers have always been about more than the convenience of retail options. Entertainment is a key part of what attracts shoppers to malls, especially those with historic ties to the fairgrounds and antique carousels at their heart. Knowing this, mall owner Macerich has partnered with Round1 Bowling & Entertainment to bring one of the Japanese company’s iconic entertainment complexes to Fairfield County.

In addition to bowling, Round1 locations offer darts, billiards, an arcade, table tennis, karaoke, and additional entertainment options in addition to food and drink.

“At Danbury, we have smaller forms of entertainment, but it’s going to be a much larger offering,” said Eric Bunyan, senior vice president of leasing for the east region of Macerich. “They cater to families, they do corporate events and also birthday parties. We believe their offerings will resonate well in the Danbury Market with our customers. »

“Round1 is a Japan-based entertainment operator and we have a few deals with them,” Bunyan added. “We recently signed two new leases with them: one in Arizona and one in Danbury. The entertainment in our center complements the overall offer, and it is the initiative of our company. We see Danbury as a very powerful and super regional talent hub. »

Photo by Justin McGown.

Bunyan described Round1 as a perfect fit and a necessary adaptation.

“At one time we had five pillars which were traditional department stores,” he continued. “Today we only have two large traditional stores, so what we see is that we have a strong demand. We have the chance to select the best operators in their category like Round1 and to diversify our offer.

Transitioning from a former anchor tenant to an entertainment complex won’t pose much of a challenge for the mall in terms of construction, Bunyan added, noting that the work is about up to par with what the transformation of one store into another usually involves – some plumbing and wiring will be required, but there will be both short-term building work and new jobs brought to Danbury Fair with the arrival of Round1.

The location will also be joined by a new Target location, which will provide a similar benefit, attracting more visitors, which will benefit the mall as a whole as well as Danbury itself.

“We are a major employer,” said Maura Ruby, the mall’s general manager. “We have a lot of people working at the center so adding another layer of staff alongside the Longhorn Steak House and Shake Shack that we just opened is exciting. I anticipate we’re going to have a lot of candidates for entertainment use. It’s great work for young kids going to and from college or looking for seasonal work, and we constantly have trades people to manage and maintain our store infrastructure. It will be a very nice economic recovery. »

Ruby also pointed out that the demand for entertainment is high and that Round1 will fit well into the mall’s existing ecosystem.

“It really speaks to the strength of real estate,” Bunyan added. “It’s just an extremely strong endorsement for the strength of the center and the future of the center. Think about how the market was two years ago and it’s remarkable the amount of progress we’ve made over the course of this period. We are really proud of it.

“People are looking to return to our retailers and see and smell their products. We’re really positive about everything and even planning to bring back mall programming,” Bunyan said. “We are delighted not only to have succeeded in finding infills, but also solid solutions which can even be dramatic improvements over the previous occupants.”

Although he could not go into specifics about current agreements and transactions, Bunyan said further announcements regarding new tenants should be expected in the near future.

Keith P. Plain