AREA15 to Bring Immersive Retail, Entertainment to Las Vegas
Real estate development firm Fisher Brothers and creative agency Beneville Studios have teamed up to deliver the 126,000-square-foot project by late 2019.
By Gail Kalinoski
Construction has begun on AREA15, a 126,000-square-foot retail, art and entertainment complex set to open in late 2019 in Las Vegas. The complex is a joint venture between two New York-based companies—real estate development firm Fisher Brothers and creative agency Beneville Studios.
The developers expect AREA15 to appeal to a variety of visitors including gamers, comic-con and sci-fi enthusiasts, artists, music and festival lovers and anyone looking for a unique experience. The project will weave together immersive experiences, music and corporate events, art installations, restaurants, bars and nightlife.
“The 21st century is all about change and progression, and AREA15 is at the forefront of exploring that change and defining a new retail model. We look forward to having AREA15 be a thriving part of the local community in Las Vegas,” Winston Fisher, a Fisher Brothers partner, said in a prepared statement.
The center, located a short distance from the Las Vegas Strip off I-15 and Desert Inn Road, will have customized tenant space for a curated collection of experiential and retail businesses. There will be 68,000 square feet of leasable ground floor space and up to 58,000 square feet of mezzanine space. A 40,000-square-foot indoor and outdoor event space that will be suitable for music festivals, corporate events, e-sport tournaments will be adjacent to the retail and dining options. The event space will have the capacity for up to 3,000 guests. More than 900 free parking spaces will be available.
In January, the joint venture announced it signed Meow Wolf, a multi-media production company based in Santa Fe, N.M., as the anchor tenant. Meow Wolf creates immersive, interactive experiences through fabrication, painting, sculpture, architecture, virtual and augmented reality, sound, performative experiences and interactivity.
“AREA15 understands the current cultural shift into new dimensions of experience, whether that’s in telling a story, entertainment, dining or retail. Meow Wolf has envisioned an entirely new way of telling a story—more immersive, more interactive, more exploratory than anything before—and we are looking forward to producing an otherworldly experience for the vibrant local population of Las Vegas, as well as the year-round visitors from around the globe,” Vince Kadlubek, Meow Wolf CEO, said in a prepared statement.
Fisher Brothers, one of New York City’s prominent real estate families with office and residential holdings in New York City and Washington, D.C., bought the AREA15 land in 2005 for $50 million, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. The newspaper reports the developers originally planned a mixed-use development with Station Casinos, but the project never got off the ground. Winston Fisher told the newspaper he came up with the idea for AREA15 about two years ago.
Growth of experiential CRE
Fisher’s concept of creating an experiential center is popular among property owners, some of whom are spending millions of dollars on shopping center and mall makeovers. Food, entertainment and interactive experiences are an integral part of most of the redevelopments occurring across the United States. In addition to dine and recline movie theaters, many mall owners are offering 4-D rides similar to those found in theme parks and escape rooms. The American Dream Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J., expects to open next year with about 55 percent of its 3 million square feet devoted to entertainment and experiential offerings including a 300,000-square-foot indoor Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park, a water park, aquarium and indoor ski and snowboard park.
Image courtesy of Fisher Brothers