When the movie theater at the Grove at Wesley Chapel reopens soon, it won’t be anything like the former Cobb Theatre where people used to go to watch movies.
The exterior of the building already looks completely different than it did before, and the interior is getting a massive makeover, too.
In what is being billed as the movie theater of the future, the Cinema & Entertainment Complex will include such features as fully reclining seats in some theaters, a supervised kids’ playroom, a full arcade and a comedy club.
Mishorim Gold Properties and developer Mark Gold are investing millions of dollars into the renovation.
Features in the 85,000-square-foot complex will include a new color scheme, floors, décor and light fixtures.
Other details include:
- Spin bikes, in a theater room, which is expected to include some form of virtual reality experiences
- Assigned seating, with a socially distanced layout during the pandemic
- An open theater that will serve as a performance hall for plays, concerts and productions
- In-movie food service with contactless ordering within six of the 12 theaters
- An upscale sit-down restaurant
Parents will be able to go to the movies and drop their children off in a supervised play area, where the children can play, while the adults go off to enjoy the movie, Gold said.
The arcade within the complex will feature games for people of all ages.
The idea is to give people a different type of experience, Gold said. Instead of going to the movie and then back home again, people of all ages who come here will be able to spend a few hours enjoying an array of activities, he said.
“The Grove is about family,” he said.
Great care also is being taken to ensure that the theater is safe for patrons, the developer added.
It will be equipped with sanitation technology that includes fogging machines and automated thermal temperature scan swing gates at the entrance.
Going there will be safer than going to a grocery store, Gold said.
The reimagined movie theater complex will be just one of the new offerings at the Grove at Wesley Chapel.
Once people step outside of the entertainment complex there will be a wide range of choices for places to eat, shop or have fun on other parts of the property.
A water park and an 18-hole miniature golf course are both planned near the theater, and both are expected to open this winter.
The water park plans call for it to be built on a 1.7-acre site. Proposed features include two large water slides, a lazy river, a splash pad for kids, and a pool for adults and kids.
The 18-hole mini-golf course will have a Hawaiian theme and will be handicapped accessible.
Those projects represent just a fraction of the Grove at Wesley Chapel’s redevelopment plan.
An area, which Gold calls The Village, has a collection of storefronts with personal service businesses, a brewery and a restaurant.
There are traditional big box stores, too.
Plus, the Grove will be home to Krate — billed as one of the world’s largest collections of shipping containers used to house retail shops and restaurants.
Businesses at Krate will have indoor and outdoor seating, and there will be an outdoor stage nearby — which will be a focal point for community events.
A dog park and playground are also planned.
Gold plans to use frequently scheduled events to attract people to the shopping, dining and entertainment complex. He believes the combination of offerings will make the place so popular that people will be willing to drive up to two hours to get there.
In addition to its mix of offerings, the development enjoys an excellent location, Gold said.
It’s in the middle of booming Wesley Chapel, which is characterized by its high incomes, highly rated schools and burgeoning residential growth, he said.
Plus, the property enjoys high visibility from Interstate 75 and also has frontage off State Road 54, near the interstate exit.
For anyone who hasn’t been to the property recently, the changes are obvious. There’s a new energy in The Village area, with businesses that have recently opened and “coming soon” signs plastered on many storefronts.
The common areas have been upgraded, too. Water fountains, decorative lamp posts, artistic metal flowers, banners and surround sound create a welcoming vibe.
There’s also evidence of future activity: Heavy equipment is parked on disturbed land on one edge of the property, and signs proclaiming future projects are planted into the ground in other areas.
One element that remains missing, though, is a grocery store, Gold said.
The developer said he’d like to bring one in, but doesn’t want a traditional grocery store. He’s interested in adding a specialty grocer.
To find out the latest, check Facebook.com/GroveAtWesleyChapel and Instagram: @groveatwesleychapel.
Grove at Wesley Chapel
Purchased by Mishorim Gold Properties, September 2019, for approximately $64 million
- Site is about 250 acres; purchase included 604,000 square feet of existing shopping and dining space; plus, 1.3-million square feet to build out.
- $110 million in renovations
- Average household income within 5 miles, $91,150 (among highest in the United States)
- Big Box: 15 stores including Dick’s Sporting Goods, Cost Plus World Market, Ross
- The Village: 25 shops including coffee shop, paint-your-own pottery, axe throwing, dueling pianos, nail salon, real estate
- Krate: One of the largest shopping centers in the world made up of containers. It will open in Winter 2020 and will feature 94 containers; 54 units; an outdoor stage, a dog park and playground. Seating will be indoors and outdoors.
- Movie theater complex: Opening this fall, will have 12 theatres, including six which offer dining. There will an arcade, a children’s playroom, a sushi bar and upscale restaurant.
Some theaters will have fully reclining chairs.
- Water Park: opening this winter on 1.7 acres. Proposed features include two large water slides, a lazy river, a splash pad for kids, and a pool for adults and kids.
- Mini-golf: 18 holes. Hawaiian theme, handicap accessible. Opening winter 2020
- 50 restaurants: Offer an array of cuisines, including Mediterranean, Vietnamese, Cajun, Peruvian and others
- Quarterly and holiday events
- Weekend fresh market
- Lights and fountain features
- Sound system reaches entire development; and alcohol sales permitted throughout the property
Source: The Grove at Wesley Chapel, updated Sept. 20, 2020
Published September 23, 2020