Dave & Buster’s Presistent Pursuit of 5.4 Prime Acres Pays off

In Bradford Buzzby Staff

DALLAS – Dave and Busters I LP has acquired a vacant AMC Theatre on a 5.4-acre tract from YPI Central Expressway Properties LP, ending a three-year pursuit of a high-profile infill site to develop a 35,000-sf flagship entertainment center.

“Dave and Buster’s started out as a lease, went to a ground lease and then became an outright sale,” says Sharon Friedberg, senior vice president of Dallas-based Bradford Commercial Real Estate Services. She and Melanie Hughes, also a Bradford senior vice president, had been marketing the property at 9450 N. Central Expressway strictly on a for-lease basis.

Because of its location and visibility, the site drew unprecedented attention from retailers, developers and investors. That too was the motivation for Dave and Buster’s to ride out the drawn-out challenges of rezoning, re-platting and back-and-forth property transfers so the deal could come to fruition.

“The challenge was, in the middle of all this, was the sale of 9400 N. Central Expressway. They didn’t parcel off this property,” Friedberg explains, “so it had to be conveyed back to YPI before the sale.” It also took awhile to work through channels to get the property rezoned for restaurant and indoor entertainment use so alcohol and wine could be sold at the site.

The transaction’s closing has jump-started remediation, including demolition of the 40,950-sf theater. Construction will ramp up in a few months and continue for nine months.

“It’s going to create a synergy because this facility will reflect Dave and Buster’s newer, more modernized design concept,” Hughes says.

The build-out will be a 35,000-sf freeway-fronting flagship with expanded games and menu to add to its drawing power. Dave and Buster’s will vacate 8201 Walnut Hill Lane, where it occupies inline space. Dave and Buster’s was represented by Larry Leon and Jonathan Cooper of Dallas-based Venture Commercial Real Estate.

“Dave and Buster’s will be moving to a stand-alone building fronting Central Expressway. They really wanted that location,” Friedberg says. “This whole area is transforming. This is really going to enhance it.”