Changes are coming to downtown Denton and Golden Triangle Mall this year with several new concepts and new-to-market businesses set to open in 2020.
Here’s a look at the business news we’ll be watching this year.
Golden Triangle Mall
Bucking against national trends, Golden Triangle Mall is adding nontraditional concepts to the property in the face of brick-and-mortar retail closing up shop.
Both Conn’s Home Plus and Fitness Connection are set to open in April this year, said Matt Ludemann, the mall’s manager. Conn’s Home Plus will take up about 45,000 square feet of the former Sears property, and will sell appliances, electronics and home furnishings.
Also coming this spring is an interactive Easter pop-up for children from the owners of Santa Adventure Land, Ludemann said.
“They enjoy the overall concept of bringing fun experiences to children for different holidays and they had a great time with Santa Land, which they plan to do in 2020, and they want to try to do something for Easter,” he said.
Santa Adventure Land was a seasonal pop-up in the mall, occupying 17,000 square feet with different interactive exhibits for kids, plus live reindeer. Activities included a pit full of fake snow, a post office to drop off letters to Santa and a toy workshop.
The Easter concept is being developed now, as well a summer concept, Ludemann said.
Radical Hospitality Group
Two long-awaited projects are expected to open to the public this year: events venue Sunago Bell at the top of the Wells Fargo building on the Square and H2Oak, a new barbecue restaurant on East Hickory Street.
Sunago Bell could open as early as this spring, but has not yet gotten its certificate of occupancy. Company representatives haven’t formally announced its opening date, but an Instagram profile for the venue slates February for the business opening. When the project was announced, it was expected to open in summer 2019.
Narciso Tovar, the publicist for the company, did not respond to requests for comment, nor did two of the company’s managing partners.
The 3,000-square-foot space is customizable and features a large bar area and panoramic views of Denton and beyond. It also features a bridal suite, prep kitchen and an on-site hospitality team, according to the business’s website.
H2Oak is also expected to open this year, with work underway transforming the old Travelstead building at 215 E. Hickory St. into an expansive barbecue and mac-and-cheese restaurant.
The restaurant will smoke all of its meat on site, and features a 12,000-square-foot backyard that will have outdoor activities such as whiffle ball. No opening date is set yet, but an Instagram account for the restaurant teases a 2020 opening.
In addition to the Radical Hospitality Group projects, downtown Denton is growing, adding businesses beyond the vibrant downtown Square.
In the first City Council meeting of 2020, the council approved grants for multiple new businesses that are coming to newly commercial spaces.
The former Evers Hardware storage building at 109 W. Walnut St. is going to become the MVMT Lab, a personal training and health company. The business secured a $25,000 Downtown Reinvestment Grant that will help upgrade the facade, signage and utility upgrades. Inside, the building also needs to be outfitted with an HVAC system and bathrooms, according to city documents.
Other longtime downtown spaces are also getting converted for new uses. The old B&O Towing will become a new restaurant, and the owners also were approved for a $25,000 Downtown Reinvestment Grant.
Construction is also underway at 311 N. Elm St., the former home of Kay’s Paint & Auto Body Shop, to make a new location for Caskey’s Bar & Grill. Caskey’s spent several years near the University of North Texas on Hickory Street, and will move into the transformed restaurant space this year.
The transformation of old buildings downtown is one real estate professionals expect to continue this year. In a panel discussion last week, several local developers said they expect more redevelopment of old spaces as new construction costs continue to rise.