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Gardens shopping plaza’s rebirth brings new life for abandoned theater


Promenade Plaza, the shopping center on Alternate A1A shrouded by trees, has struggled for a long time, despite the 25,000 cars that pass by each day.

But there are signs that’s about to change, the owners of established and new businesses in the plaza say.

After Woolbright Development got involved late last year, it started looking better. The Boca Raton company painted the Publix-anchored plaza and fixed its roof. It repaired curbing that had fallen into disrepair and made sure all the lighting worked. It prettied the place up with nicer landscaping.

More importantly, Woolbright recruited a slew of new tenants — including an outlet of the popular Bealls department store — in less than a year. Other additions include two restaurants (Qwzine and Five and Ten Spot), a furniture consignment store and a multi-sensory gym that’s inclusive for kids with developmental delays such as autism.

A conversion of the defunct movie theater into a 25,500-square-foot new home for Planet Fitness is in the works. Planet Fitness will move from its current location in the plaza.

Woolbright partnered with LSREF2 Promenade LLC, a property investor, to redevelop the plaza. No one from Woolbright provided comment as of Friday afternoon, despite multiple requests throughout the week.

Cutting Edge Chic Hair Salon owner Lauretta Sherman said it’s been a tough four years because the plaza has been so “derelict.” Now that it’s in better shape and a diverse mix of shops is moving in, she’s optimistic. She and her staff were gussying up the salon with painting and decor recently.

“We’re really all going for it … It’s going to come into it’s own, I hope,” Sherman said. “If we can get the people back, it will be wonderful.”

Once the substantial physical improvements are completed, the plaza will be well-positioned for success, Palm Beach Gardens Mayor Marcie Tinsley said.

Tenaga Kava, a kava, tea and coffee bar, opened in December, co-owner Danielle Fortier said. The gym for kids should attract families, Bealls is popular, and the Planet Fitness will be much larger, she said. All of that is good for business.

“I’m sure we’ll get a little more foot traffic,” she said.

The Bealls Outlet is tentatively scheduled for a soft opening around the end of October and a grand opening the first week of November. Triumph Kids, the multi-sensory gym, is looking at a mid-November opening.

Palm Beach Gardens Ace Hardware has endured in the plaza for 27 years. Many of the other stores couldn’t survive the hit of the recession and went out of business, said Joe Lingelbach, a managing partner of the hardware store. They also faced competition from Legacy Place and Downtown at the Gardens when they opened.

The hardware store has done well for the past several years, Lingelbach said. The improvements can only help business.

“It was a pretty dead plaza for a long time,” Lingelbach said. “What they’re doing is making the plaza a lot better for our customers, a lot safer, and the stores they have coming in here, it’s going to bring more people coming in from a wider range or distance than we have right now.”



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