Artegon Marketplace unveiled new enhancements, tenants and expansion plans that complement the 1.1 million-square-foot shopping attraction and artisan marketplace located on the north end of International Drive. The new developments represent a multi-million dollar investment by the property’s owner, New York-based Lightstone, and will generate a forecasted 400 new jobs by the end of 2016.
Eat Street, a 25,000-square-foot food hall, will open by the end of 2016. • Photo Courtesy of H2G
New updates include a significant transformation to the center’s most distinguishing feature: its collection of more than 165 artisans selling one-of-a-kind hand-crafted items made by local masters. Florida’s largest daily indoor artisan marketplace now boasts fully built-out custom storefronts themed to reflect each merchant’s goods. Examples include:
- A stone brick façade adorned with hand-made doilies, tea cups, door knobs and other European shabby chic items beckons guests to enter Via Francesca, selling hand-crafted gifts and accessories, including painted glassware, hand-stamped flatware and jewelry.
- SOS Art Gallery’s exterior is crafted from hundreds of variant colored wooden planks – echoing the eclectic and wide variety of hand-made cards, artwork, and other gift items showcased within.
- Elemental Bonsai & Tea Garden’s rice paper doors create the feel of a journey to Japan.
- The storefront of Bowes Signature Soy Candles selling hand-poured candles and related items is reminiscent of a turn-of-the-century New England shop with gas lamps flanking the entryway.
Slated to join the artisan marketplace’s existing line-up of anchor tenants and in-line stores are Sky Zone indoor trampoline park, occupying 24,000 square feet (fall 2015); the area’s first NYZ Apocalypse, a unique interactive zombie survival experience within a 45,000-square-foot space (early 2016); and Pita and Spice Co. restaurant (early 2016). With the artisan marketplace 90 percent occupied, the center’s leasing team is actively promoting in-line store space and food and beverage kiosks, with additional announcements forthcoming.
The shop-local options at Artegon Marketplace will grow substantially by the end of 2016 with the opening of Eat Street, a 25,000-square-foot food hall, inspired by such culinary bazaars as Seattle’s Pike Place and Boston’s Faneuil Hall. Guests can select from a wide array of fresh delectables to eat on site, take away for picnics, or package for gift-giving and future enjoyment, all from local vendors — many sourcing farm-to-table ingredients. A farmer’s market held on select days and cooking classes will complement the hall.
“Since its opening one year ago, Artegon Marketplace’s bold new retail experiment — unlike any other in the U.S. — continues to evolve,” said Lightstone Chief Creative Officer David Miskin. “We have acquired what was once an underperforming mall and transformed it into a thriving, eclectic retail destination that defies the norm.”
Additional enhancements and developments announced include:
- A glimpse into Cinemark’s newly renovated, luxury-styled theaters (scheduled for completion fall 2015)
- ARTegon Co-op, an ever-evolving gallery featuring well-known national and local pop artists, including area favorites SKIP, Chris “Tobar” Rodriguez and Boy Kong
- Stand-alone 10’x12’-square-foot “cottage units” providing entry-level retailing opportunities
- New, plush common area furniture and fresh, modern tables and seating in a variety of configurations – long community tables, high tops and more
- A bicycle-powered mobile device recharging station
- Eclectic, artistic and interactive elements and visual accents, such as From Artegon With Love, a postcard mailing station (fill out a card and the center will mail it for free); and a community chalkboard for creative expression by guests
- Artegon’s new branding campaign and website (rolling out in early November)
- Remodeled men’s and women’s bathrooms
- Guest Ambassadors – many students from UCF’s Rosen School of Hospitality Management – who are focused on providing exemplary customer service
Artegon’s leadership also announced the line-up for its Anti-Ordinary First Anniversary Spectacular, a week-long celebration featuring free admission festivities and amped up signature events to be held November 16 through 21.