More Changes Coming to CityWalk?

GAcoaster

V.I.P.
Nov 30, 2012
3,468
Orlando
I heard today from a friend with connections at Universal that supposedly the retail tenant contractors on CityWalk (with one exception for some reason) were told by Universal that they are having their leases terminated and Universal will be taking over the operations of their stores (buying out their inventories in some cases and closing others).

It was something that, when I heard it thought it makes sense on some levels. Universal could then control the product mix and make adjustments to the space allocated based on demand. They could also change over more of the space to other uses (more food options, etc.). They also then keep more profit from the operations like they've been doing as they changed over restaurants from contractors to in house operated.

Has anyone else heard this or can anyone confirm?
 
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Teebin

Legendary Member
Oct 12, 2009
19,451
North of the Wall
Is margaritaville the exception? Too, I cannot imagine they are tossing out the upstairs fast food joints. Universal was never able to make that location work.
 

Joe

aka TestTrack321
Staff member
Moderator
Feb 15, 2012
11,069
Pittsburgh, PA
Is margaritaville the exception? Too, I cannot imagine they are tossing out the upstairs fast food joints. Universal was never able to make that location work.
They run Margaritaville is my understanding.

Besides the fast food locations I've heard UOR is planning to remove any non-UOR owned locations and even some UOR ones. I am surprised its retail first and not something like the Groove or Bubba Gumps.
 
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AlexanderMBush

Legendary Member
Nov 23, 2013
16,605
Arizona
In a question, is the Element store considered to be owned by Universal, prior to the hearing of this?

I'm very intrigued into this, as it could give them more possibilities of new retail and dining experiences that could be unique to Universal Orlando.
 

GAcoaster

V.I.P.
Nov 30, 2012
3,468
Orlando
My understanding is that it's just the retail shops (PIQ, Quiet Flight, Element, Fossil, etc.). Basically it sounds like the ground floor retail in that whole section which is a big space when all put together. Ripe for redevelopment. That's where the Universal Store SHOULD be so it has enough space to offer a full array of park souvenirs. Kind of a "World of Universal" shop...
 
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GadgetGuru

Premium Member
Dec 2, 2011
2,186
Seattle, WA
About time. Retail at CityWalk is awful. You have the horribly generic stores selling trash and then the kiosks selling tourist junk. Personally, I don't think City Walk needs much retail besides the Universal store. This isn't Disney Springs after all. But, I'd love Universal to prove me wrong.
 

graspthesun

Premium Member
Feb 21, 2013
1,102
New Orleans
It doesn't make sense for a takeover to happen at a store like Element or Fossil. Those types of retail establishments don't franchise. For national brands like that, I'd expect a closure if the lease terminations are true.
 

Nick

Staff member
Moderator
Sep 22, 2011
18,259
Orlando
Kinda ironic that Disney is going the opposite route with Disney Springs, opening tons of non-Disney stores.
The amount of money they charge for rent is stupid high though. Disney Springs will easily be in the green before too long.
 

Joe

aka TestTrack321
Staff member
Moderator
Feb 15, 2012
11,069
Pittsburgh, PA
Kinda ironic that Disney is going the opposite route with Disney Springs, opening tons of non-Disney stores.
A lot of their additions are owned by them, surprisingly. Plus they did build the whole freaking thing out so I don't blame them wanting to chill and lets some other places take over.

The amount of money they charge for rent is stupid high though. Disney Springs will easily be in the green before too long.
My worry with Springz is the long term viability of the stores operating. I worry we'll reach another West Side situation of atrophy and we'll end up with a BBB, make your own light saber, and some of the unique food locations ending up severing burgers and character meals.