Shopping Centers Today International

FEB 2016

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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renamed itself IFly in 2005, when sky- diving enthusiast Alan Menti, now CEO, bought the business. IFly's site-selection criteria include visible locations and high-income demographics. Locating at or near a shopping center offers continual traf- fic and compatible entertainment ten- ants, like one near Stonebriar Centre, in Frisco, Texas. But IFly is certainly a destination in its own right, routinely drawing people from as far as two hours away, says Miller. Among the concept's selling points for any land- lord is the broad entertainment ap- peal for a range of participants: from families, to companies planning a day out for the staff, to seasoned skydivers. The concept also resonates with shop- ping center owners keen to introduce any physical experience that cannot be replicated virtually or online. "From a landlord's perspective, it is pretty unique and pretty different," said Howard J. Samuels, president of Samu- els & Co., Sherman Oaks, Calif. Samu- els has been IFly's national real estate adviser for the past three years. One challenge is working with lo- cal officials and planning departments, Miller says. Further, an IFly facility re- quires ground-up construction, usually on a pad site next to a shopping center; because of what is involved in building vertical wind tunnels that utilize a re- circulating air system, it is not a matter of merely converting an existing space. The buildings that house these shafts rise about 70 feet, which can be a chal- lenge, but which also creates a physical spectacle to draw attention to the shop- ping center, Miller points out. Despite the vertical space demands, these fa- cilities require relatively little horizon- tal floor space, however — typically, about 6,000 square feet. "We can go into these little pieces of property that people didn't think they had a use for, build a vertical wind tunnel and require less spaces for parking than your typi- cal retail or restaurant concept," said Miller. IFly finances its own construc- tion and usually buys the site or signs a long-term lease. IFly will open a site adjacent to Pennsylvania's King of Prussia Mall this month on a former parking lot. It is building two facilities in Brazil and also has a fourth U.K. site set to open later this year. The company has even set up facilities aboard three Royal Ca- ribbean cruise ships. SCT For leasing, contact Howard Samuels, presi- dent of Samuels & Co., at (818) 817-9500, or hsamuels@samuelscompany.com. r e T a i l i n g T o d a y F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 6 / S C T 25

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