Fashion / Beauty

This Texas Mall Fights Back with a Luxe Gym, Celeb Chef Restaurants and a Kids Theme Park: It’s All Part of $125 Million Expansion

BY // 07.20.17

Dallas is a tough place for a mall. It seems like every day a new state-of-the-art shopping center is rising up while older malls fall behind (except NorthPark, which, in my opinion, will always be the world’s best). To avoid a Valley View-like fate, shopping centers have to get a little creative.

At least that’s the strategy Plano’s Shops at Willow Bend has adopted.

The mall is adding upscale lifestyle fitness club Equinox to its growing roster of attractions. The popular and controversial fitness empire will open a location in the Shops at Willow Bend come fall 2018.

The upcoming Equinox will occupy a 35,000-square-foot space on the south side of the mall, next to Restoration Hardware, Neiman Marcus, and Crate & Barrel.

The club will offer a wide selection of fitness programs, such as strength and cardio training, cutting-edge group classes, and personal training.

There will also be a number of lifestyle-focused programs, services, and products. Members will have access to food and juice bars, apparel shops, and spa services and goods.

The luxurious gym will be complete with a large rooftop deck for special events and programming.

The addition of Equinox is a small part of the mall’s massive $125 expansion and renovation, the first in its 16-year existence. Starwood Retail purchased the Shops at Willow Bend in 2014 with plans to revitalize the center and turn it into a shopping destination.

“Equinox is a natural addition to Willow Bend’s expanding mix of lifestyle, retail, restaurant, office and entertainment options,” Barry Smith, general manager of The Shops at Willow Bend said in a statement.

The mall announced earlier this year that it was adding new dining and entertainment venues, as well as a 200,000 square-foot Class A office tower. The new restaurants include John Tesar’s steakhouse, Knife, Terra Mediterranean, and Mexican Bar Company. Crayola Experience, a 60,000-square-foot children’s attraction will open in Spring 2018.  

This mall certainly isn’t rolling over.

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