Mediterranean eats, gourmet popcorn and something known as “rolled ice cream” — which is all the rage in Thailand — are just some of the new things you soon will be able to find in tony Baldwin Park.
A total of about 14,256 square feet of space was leased by retail tenants in the last six months at the trendy, walkable Baldwin Park Village Center.
In addition, one tried-and-true favorite tenant, Colibri Mexican Cuisine, nearly doubled its tiny, 2,500-square-foot space to include more indoor seating. The restaurant on the shores of Lake Baldwin now has 4,753 square feet, which is expected to open this spring.
It’s part of a turnaround undertaken by Terrence Hart, senior director of retail for commercial real estate brokerage Franklin Street, who has been working with the landlord since May 2016. Hart has spent the last several months trying to help add restaurants, shops and services focused more on a family-friendly experience at the center.
“We’ve had some huge successes; we signed nine leases since I’ve been working on it,” Hart told Orlando Business Journal. “We have four pending leases right now and two are huge backfillers.”
More importantly, many of the tenants are profitable and a couple who report sales to the landlord are doing “very good,” Hart said.
That’s huge for the Village Center, which for its first decade had struggled to find its identity. The then-ailing, lender-owned 182,773-square-foot retail portion of the center in late 2013 was acquired by the Dallas-based Tabani Group for $27.8 million, as previously reported by OBJ.
Here’s a look at some of the deals Hart has done since being brought on by Tabani Group:
* Meza Mediterranean Grill: 2,783 square feet, opening this month in the space previously used by LocoMotion bike shop. The restaurant reportedly is run by the owners of downtown Orlando’s Cafe Annie, according to an article Orlando Weekly. Follow the progress on Meza Orlando’s Facebook page.
* I-CE-NY Original Smashed and Rolled Ice Cream: 1,420 square feet, opening in May in the former Yogen Fruz frozen yogurt shop space. Read more about that hot new concept.
* Tutto Café: 1,529 square feet, opening this month in a vacant space
* Verte Chiropractic: 1,512 square feet, opening in May in a space previously used as the engineering office of the nearby Baldwin Harbor apartments, where the first building debuted late last year, as previously reported by OBJ.
* 9 Round Kickboxing: 1,510 square feet, opening sometime this month in a vacant space
* Admiral Cigars: 1,396 square feet, opened last fall in a vacant space
* Popcorn Kernels Gourmet Popcorn: 1,176 square feet, opening in May in the former Baldwin Florist space
* Brightway Insurance: 931 square feet, opened last fall in a vacant space
See the Franklin Street’s Baldwin Park Village Center retail marketing flyer here.