DALLAS-FORT WORTH, TX., February 1, 2011—X Team International, an international alliance of retail real estate advisors with expertise in more than 45 major markets throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe, announced today that Dallas-Fort Worth-based partner Venture Commercial, through their Venturetainment division, assisted with site selection efforts and completed two leases for global visitor attraction operator Merlin Entertainments Group (Merlin), bringing two of their iconic attraction brands LEGOLAND Discovery Center and a SEA LIFE aquarium to the Texas market for the first time. X Team International partner Larry Leon made the announcement.
The two attractions will open later this year in the Mills/Simon-owned Grapevine Mills Mall, located just north of DFW Airport. The mall is anchored by AMC Theatres, JCPenney, Last Call by Neiman Marcus, Marshalls and Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH.
The LEGOLAND Discovery Center, an indoor interactive attraction based on the popular LEGO toy, will be approximately 35,000 square feet, while SEA LIFE will occupy two levels at approximately 45,000 square feet. Both are located directly across from AMC Theatres.
Jonathan Cooper and Larry Leon of Venture Commercial assisted Merlin’s National Advisor/Master Broker Howard Samuels of Samuels & Company, Inc. with the representation of the tenants, while Gregg Goodman, president of Mills/Simon, represented the landlord.
“These are the first LEGOLAND Discovery Center and SEA LIFE locations in Texas, and will be only the second LEGOLAND Discovery Center and fourth SEA LIFE in the entire U.S.,” said Cooper. “These two operations are representative of the Best-of-Class concepts that Venturetainment is bringing to the development community.”
“Merlin is one of the most dynamic companies in the leisure sector, opening six to seven new attractions a year despite the current economic climate,” said Samuels. “North America is a primary development market so we are constantly looking for the right sites for their exciting global brands. In representing a world-class company like Merlin Entertainments in North America, it is a pleasure to work with experienced professionals like Larry Leon and Jonathan Cooper as our affiliates in Texas. We look forward to working together on additional locations in the future.”
Merlin currently has nine attractions in the USA including the LEGOLAND California theme park; Madame Tussauds attractions in New York, Washington DC, Las Vegas and Hollywood; LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Chicago; and SEA LIFE aquariums in Phoenix, the Mall of America in Minneapolis, and alongside LEGOLAND California. In addition to these two Dallas-Fort Worth attractions, the company is scheduled to open LEGOLAND Florida, a major new theme park, in Winterhaven, Florida, later this year.
X Team is an international alliance of retail real estate specialists with offices located in major cities throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. X Team partners average more than 20 years of industry experience, with expertise in major markets worldwide, specializing in tenant, property and developer/landlord representation, workout services, property dispositions and retail investments. X Team services include transaction negotiation, portfolio analysis, lease valuations, acquisitions, and asset assessment and valuation. For more information, please visit www.xteam.net.
Venture is a commercial real estate brokerage specializing in landlord representation, tenant representation, land sales, investment property sales, corporate services, research and graphics for clients in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas market. Venturetainment is a division of Venture Commercial Real Estate, specializing in strategic market planning and site selection for firms in the food service and entertainment industry. For more information, please visit www.venturedfw.com.
Merlin Entertainments Group is the leading name in location based, family entertainment and has seen the most successful and dynamic growth of any company in the sector over the last five years. Europe’s No. 1 and the world’s second largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin has 64 attractions, six hotels and two holiday villages in 14 countries, across three continents. The company aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its 40 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its managers and 15,000 employees.
Merlin Entertainments’ attractions include SEA LIFE—the world’s biggest aquarium brand, Madame Tussauds, LEGOLAND, The London Eye, Dungeons, Gardaland, LEGOLAND Discovery Centers, Alton Towers Resort, Warwick Castle, THORPE PARK, Chessington World of Adventures, Heide Park and Earth Explorer. All brands are distinctive, challenging and innovative, and have great potential for growth in the future. Visit www.merlinentertainments.biz for more information.
Samuels & Company, Inc. was founded by veteran real estate developer, Howard J. Samuels in 1997. The firm is a full-service real estate advisory, development and brokerage company based in Los Angeles, California. Samuels & Company, Inc. is the exclusive National Advisor/Tenant Representative for the expansion of Merlin Entertainments Group’s attractions in the North American market. For more information, please contact Howard Samuels at 818-817-9500 or [email protected].