Mohegan “Downtown Retail District” that wasn’t

Mohegan Sun announced plans Tuesday for a $50 million retail complex with a 14-screen movie theater, a bowling alley, a barn-style artisan-food pavilion and high-end shops.
In all, the “Downtown District” development is expected to add 50 retailers and 200,000 square feet to the Mohegan Sun casino, entertainment and retail complex. Construction is to begin later this year finishing an expansion that was interrupted in 2008 by the economic downturn. It is expected to be completed in 2015.

“It’s been our strategy all along to enhance the destination experience and have more of an attraction factor, to give people a reason to drive a little further,” Etess, Mohegan Sun CEO said.

The Downtown District will feature a retail store promenade called High Street Fashion. It also will have a “PopNShop,” which is a storefront that changes monthly, offering trunk shows, product debuts and “the world’s best designers,” the casino said. All of the retailers are new to Mohegan Sun.

The Downtown District will be built by real-estate developers The Hampshire Cos. of Morristown, N.J., and The Bronson Cos. of Winton, Calif. Richard “Skip” Bronson, founder of The Bronson Cos., was an original co-developer of CityPlace in Hartford.

Plans call for a Taste of New England Gourmet Hall, a large, barn-like pavilion with artisan foods from all six New England states. The hall will have special events, including a farmers market and a harvest festival.

Another feature is Kings Bowl, a “retro modern” bowling and dining attraction by The Lyons Group of Boston, which has similar facilities with a mid-20th-century-modern motif in the Boston area, in Rosemont, Ill., and in Orlando, Fla. The bowling and dining facility will be more than 20,000 square feet.

The development also will have a Marquee Cinemas 14-screen theater, called the Mohegan multiplex, including an IMAX-type theater. Marquee operates movie theaters in eight states, including the Westbrook 12 cinema.

“From farm-to-table to films, designer fashions to date night, the Downtown District will be an amenity to the resort and a daily destination for locals and visitors alike,” Mark Rivers, president of The Bronson Cos., said in a prepared statement.

It looks like Retail Wars has started in the CT tribal nations. Once, they were together as one and history saw them take different paths. Let’s hope this makes these two giant properties the draw (together) they are hoping for.

That’s all for now.



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