New tenants take up residence at Queensgate
By SEAN ADKINS
Daily Record/Sunday News
Updated: 07/22/2010 12:13:03 AM EDT
More than two months after Frank Theatres opened at York Township's Queensgate Towne Center, the shopping plaza appears to be enjoying something of a renaissance.
At least three retailers have inked deals to open locations at the center, including Hanover-based Menchey Music Service, Planet X Comics and Collectibles and The Strawberry Shop.
About two years ago, an affiliate of Lancaster County-based Blackford Development bought the 48-year-old center and renovated the property complete with reworked facades on the buildings, improved lighting and updated landscaping.
Since that time, tenants such as Miles Maytag and WellSpan Health have opened at the center.
In recent months, Frank Theatres has established itself as one of the plaza's main draws alongside the center's two other anchors, Weis and The Bon-Ton.
"The theater has been performing as we expected," said Bruce Frank, president and chief executive officer of Frank Theatres. "For a brand new theater, it is has started out well, and people have been receptive. It's pretty cool."
Knowing that the lease on his Springettsbury Township store was soon to expire, Joel Menchey of Menchey Music started to search for a new location.
The goal was to open a store that could accommodate 12 rather than nine private lesson studios and that would be closer to the company's customer base, Menchey said.
While the new store at Queensgate , set to open Aug. 2, will meet Menchey's needs, the fact that the center is now home to the new movie theater helped close the deal.
"That was a huge factor in making the decision," he said. "I think having that theater presence is a real positive for that center. More people are attracted to the center as a whole."
Planet X Comics and Collectibles also expects to profit from the customer traffic drawn to Queensgate by the movie theater.
"The theater offers a built-in market," said Timothy Fling, co-owner of Planet X.
Fling said he had searched the local commercial real estate market for about 90 days before deciding on Queensgate.
"With the new theater, it seemed like a perfect match," he said. We will do movie tie-in events and events where people meet at the store before their movie starts. We expect to see more graphic novels and comics being made into films. Our location is just perfect for that."
While Judy Brillhart expects that her relocated store, The Strawberry Shop, will benefit from the theater, the businesswoman was impressed by the center's renovations.
Aside from fresh-cut and artificial flowers, Brillhart's florist shop sells gifts, small furniture and offers interior design services.
The shop will move from North Codorus Township to Queensgate and open at the center next month, she said.
"I wanted something with at least 10-foot-tall ceilings to allow for large Christmas trees," she said. "These ceilings are 18 feet tall."