Energize aging shopping centers by splitting them in two, architect advises

Shopping Centers Today

Deighton Babis, vice president at BDG, recently worked with owner Pappas & Pupello Development to transform an aging retail center at 4001 W. Kennedy Blvd., in Tampa. The renovated design split the center into two buildings totaling 19,300 square feet, connected by a covered breezeway with outdoor seating and upgraded parking, lighting and landscaping.

“It makes a lot of sense when you get a tired old center,” said Babis. “When the center is really long, you might want to break it up and create some energy in the middle if you don’t really have room for a traditional end cap or a drive-through.”

The big news is that the renovation attracted Metro Diner, a restaurant chain founded in Tampa in 2016 and funded by Outback Steakhouse co-founder Chris Sullivan. Metro Diner signed a 3,700-square-foot lease early last year. The renovation also attracted La Segunda Central Bakery, which took a 3,000-square-foot lease.

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