Dallas Morning News
Written by: Karen Robinson-Jacobs
On July 27, Uptown’s up-from-the-ashes Victory Park development may finally have found the people magnet it’s longed for during its slog to profitability. And it’s a solution many a dating couple figured out years ago.
If you want to attract regular folks on a regular basis, try serving up dinner and a movie.
At the end of the month, the Mexican-born theater chain Cinépolis will open its first location in the city of Dallas (there’s one in Euless). At 44,000 square feet, it will mark the second largest draw in the district’s main corridor, behind only the American Airlines Center, home to the Dallas Mavericksand Dallas Stars.
Backers of both Victory Park and the theater see it as an especially symbiotic relationship: Cinépolis needs visibility to boost brand awareness with the stateside crowd. And for this current crop of restaurants and retailers to survive, Victory just needs humans, and plenty of them. That’s something the initial Victory Park developers found elusive.
Creating a “destination dining district was one of our primary goals,” said Terry Montesi, chief executive of Fort Worth-based Trademark Property Company, which was brought into the Victory project in 2012, about six years after it opened, to “re-envision, redevelop, lease and manage,” the 75-acre mixed-use development.
“A luxury cinema like this, in particular, helps us reach the audience that the restaurants are interested in, and it has helped us for sure with our leasing efforts,” he said.
And since Cinépolis is fairly new to the North Texas market, “clearly Victory is one of the high-profile places a retailer or entertainment use or restaurant that wants to make a high-profile splash in Dallas could pick,” he added.
Victory Park, snugly tucked near the intersection of the Stemmons and Woodall Rodgers freeways, launched in the mid-2000s with much promise but has had decidedly less retail and restaurant success.
With a retail mix initially populated with $200 T-shirts and dining options for the well-heeled, the development failed to find enough of an audience as consumers complained about the prices and the parking. Venue after venue closed.
The recession stalled work on the project, and German investors took control of most of it in 2009.