Now the Austin, Tex., entertainment industry will have a real estate project to call its own. The developers of Villa Muse, a $1.5 billion mixed-use development that focuses on music and entertainment, recently secured funding and land for the nearly 700-acre development. The news coincided with the passing of Texas legislation that allows incentives to the film industry to come into the state.
Villa Muse, just east of downtown Austin, will be anchored by a $125 million, 200-acre studio that will have high-end production and post-production facilities for film, television, advertising, music and video game companies. Other amenities will include soundstages, recording studios, an amphitheater and the largest outdoor water tank for film production in the country.
Locals will have a chance to be a part of the action, too. There are plans for a residential community of 8,500 people that will ring the production studio and will be built in "neighborhoods" that can be used as live backdrops for film and television scenes. Homes will be sold to the public. Retail, office and hotel space will also be developed in the boulevards leading to the studio.
Jay Aaron Podolnick, a producer, partnered with real estate developer Carpenter & Associates to create the project. The first phase, which will include the soundstage, is expected to be open by the end of next year.
A DESERT SURPRISE
Glimcher and UltraStar Cinemas joined forces to build the $300 million Shoppes at Surprise Pointe, in Surprise, Ariz. The $75 million first phase of the project, which is slated to break ground this month, will include more than 250,000 square feet of retail and a 14-screen UltraStar movie theater.
The next phases of the project include 600,000 square feet of office and entertainment space, such as a spa. The first phase of Surprise Pointe is slated to open in May 2008, and the balance of the space will open in the fall of that year. Though no fashion retailers have committed to the project yet, Walgreens, Baskin-Robbins and a local restaurant, Blue Burrito, have all signed deals.
The joint venture plans to build six more entertainment and retail complexes in Arizona in the next three years, though not all of them are expected to be as large as the 300-acre Surprise Pointe. Most will be in the 20- to 100-acre range, said a Glimcher executive.A GREEN GAMBLE
If you'd like to play craps under a canopy of orchids, you may be in luck. Myriad Entertainment & Resorts came one step closer to launching its casino-greenhouse project by acquiring more than 500 acres of land in Tunica, Miss., from a local owner. The company has entitlements in place for the project, which includes zoning for up to six casinos.
The company's immediate plans for the Myriad Botanical Resort include a 200-foot-high botanical garden, an 8,000-square-foot casino, a 1,200-room hotel, a 375,000-square-foot convention center, an 18-hole golf course and 250,000 square feet of retail space.
TOWERING OVER DALLAS
The 1.3 million-square-foot Cityplace Center project in downtown Dallas, first built in the Eighties as 7-Eleven Inc.'s headquarters, will be recast as The Tower at Cityplace. Ashkenazy & Agus Ventures, a Florida developer that partnered with Barrow Street Capital to acquire the site for $125 million from Brandywine Realty Trust, will break ground on the redevelopment this year. It plans to incorporate a boutique hotel, condominiums, retail, restaurants and a spa.
The redevelopment, billed as an "island" in the middle of the city, will also offer tennis courts, swimming pools and restaurants. Ashkenazy & Agus' other projects include Bay Harbour Mall in New York, Monmouth Mall in New Jersey and residential projects in Florida.
JOINING THE THRONGS
Konover South partnered with a number of different pension funds to form a $200 million fund to acquire retail properties in South Florida. Another $150 million fund will redevelop the properties or build new retail projects from the ground up. Konover South is seeking grocery-anchored shopping centers and power centers in Florida, and has four sites for new development under contract. The company owns more than a dozen properties in Florida and the Southeast.
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye