44,000 square foot LEGOLAND Discovery Center to open in 2014
ROCKVILLE, Md. (July 26, 2013) – Federal Realty Investment Trust (NYSE:FRT) and Merlin Entertainments (Merlin) announced today plans to build and open a LEGOLAND Discovery Center at Assembly Row, bringing the iconic global attraction to Greater Boston and New England. The attraction will open in late Spring 2014, and will be the first-ever LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Massachusetts and the only one in the New England region.
Merlin's newest attraction concept, the unique LEGOLAND Discovery Center will offer a fun, highly interactive and educational two to three-hour indoor experience specifically designed for families with children 3-10 years old. Based on the ever popular LEGO® brick, LEGOLAND Discovery Centers provide exciting LEGO rides, a 4D cinema, an insight into how LEGO bricks are made in an interactive LEGO Factory Tour experience, building workshops led by the Center's Master Model Builder, plus a range of themed play areas; special party rooms for birthdays and other celebrations, and of course the popular LEGO MINILAND exhibit - found in every LEGOLAND Park and Discovery Center. MINILAND is designed to reflect the iconic buildings of each individual attraction's location – at Assembly Row this will include buildings from the Boston skyline like the Prudential Tower, landmarks like Quincy Market, and more iconic-Boston structures nominated by the local community.
"When open in 2014, Assembly Row and The Outlets at Assembly Row will feature a nationally-branded collection of outlet retailers, visitor attractions, sought-after regional dining, next-gen residences and Class A office space – all accessed by a brand new dedicated T station on site," said Don Briggs, SVP of development for Federal Realty. "Merlin's entertainment vision coupled with Federal Realty's ability to transform real estate into dynamic destinations and Assembly Row's unique mix of retail, dining, and entertainment will deliver a game-changing development to the Boston market, the first of its kind in the country."
Commenting Glenn Earlam, Managing Director of Merlin's Midway Attractions Operating Group, said: "The LEGOLAND Discovery Center concept is already successful in both Europe and elsewhere in the USA, and I know people will love it in New England. We are absolutely delighted to be opening in this exciting new development. Based on its location, Federal Realty's proven vision and experience, Assembly Row is destined to become a regional and international 'destination' as much as it is 'the place' for the local community. Research shows us that Assembly Row is exactly the right location for us and for a LEGOLAND Discovery Center, being in a catchment area with a high proportion of families with young children. More than that, our experience has shown that bringing together an exciting mix of retail, dining and quality leisure attractions like the LEGOLAND Discovery Center creates a whole new element to a family shopping day, delivering significant incremental business to both the center – and to the area as a whole. Such projects play an important part in Merlin's future growth strategy for our 'midway' or indoor City Center attractions."
"Assembly Row is an entirely new neighborhood under construction located within Greater Boston's top attractions ring and in one of the densest markets in the country. The LEGOLAND Discovery Center at Assembly Row will bring a level of family entertainment not currently offered in the area to all of New England and the almost 30 million visitors that visit Massachusetts every year," said Chris Weilminster, SVP of leasing for Federal Realty. "Together, we are setting a new standard in the real estate industry for shopping, entertainment, and experience. The LEGOLAND Discovery Center will bring young families - a sought-after customer segment to Assembly Row, drive traffic to our other leisure operators, retailers and restaurants, and provide another great reason for our local and visiting customers to return again and again. Simply put, they are a fantastic complement to our outlet retailers and will be a magnet for tourism."
Plans and designs are already being drawn up for the 44,000 square-foot space and construction is expected to begin this fall. LEGO models for the Assembly Row attraction will be made in Merlin's specialist studios around the world and shipped in during construction, ready for the opening in 2014.
For further information:
Federal Realty Media Contact:
Director of Marketing & Tourism, Federal Realty Investment Trust
5 Middlesex Avenue, Suite 401
Somerville, MA 02145
Federal Realty Investor Relations Contact:
Investor Relations Coordinator
1626 East Jefferson Street
Rockville, MD 20852
Sally Ann Wilkinson/Penny Roberts
Tel: + 44 (0) 20 8899 6110 / + 44 (0) 20 8948 4225
Mobile: + 44 (0) 7774 415372/ + 44 (0)7887 542490
Home: + 44 (0)20 8948 3725 (Sally Ann Wilkinson)
Merlin Entertainments' Real Estate Enquiries in North America contact:
Howard J. Samuels
Samuels & Company, Inc.
14011 Ventura Blvd., Suite 209 East
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Tel: (818) 817-9500
Notes to Editors
Photos and renderings available upon request.
About Federal Realty
Federal Realty Investment Trust is an equity real estate investment trust specializing in the ownership, management, development, and redevelopment of high quality retail assets. Federal Realty's portfolio (excluding joint venture properties) contains approximately 20 million square feet located primarily in strategically selected metropolitan markets in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and California. In addition, the Trust has an ownership interest in approximately 1.0 million square feet of retail space through a joint venture in which the Trust has a 30% interest. Our operating portfolio (excluding joint venture properties) was 95.1% leased to national, regional, and local retailers as of March 31, 2013, with no single tenant accounting for more than approximately 3.2% of annualized base rent. Federal Realty has paid quarterly dividends to its shareholders continuously since its founding in 1962, and has increased its dividend rate for 45 consecutive years, the longest record in the REIT industry. Federal Realty is an S&P MidCap 400 company and its shares are traded on the NYSE under the symbol FRT.
About Assembly Row
When fully built across 50 waterfront acres on the Mystic River, the Assembly Row neighborhood will feature a total of 500,000 square feet of outlet shops and restaurants, 1.75 million square feet of office space, a 200 room boutique hotel, 2100 residences, and a six acre waterfront park that features a children's area, sunken amphitheater, and events and a dedicated MBTA transit stop on Boston's Orange Line. Phase One of Assembly Row will open in mid-2014 and will include 30 nationally branded outlet shops, a variety of sit-down restaurants and cafes, a 44,000 square foot LEGOLAND Discovery Center, a 12 screen AMC Theater, 100,000 square feet of office space, 450 residences, the new six-acre waterfront park, and the Assembly Station on Boston's Orange Line. In the heart of the neighborhood, urban commercial streets will be lined with wide sidewalks and interspersed with street side cafes, parks, outlet shops, restaurants, bike paths, and entertainment venues. Closer to downtown Boston than most of Boston, the Assembly Row neighborhood and The Outlets at Assembly Row are accessible via two exits on and off I-93 and a the new Orange Line MBTA station. For more information please visit www.assemblyrow.com.
MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS is the leading name in location-based, family entertainment, and has seen the most successful and dynamic growth of any company in the sector over the last five years. Europe's Number 1 and the world's second-largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin now operates 98 attractions, eight hotels/three holiday villages in 22 countries and across four continents. The company aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its 54 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its managers and more than 21,000 employees.
Merlin has nineteen attractions in the USA - including two stunning LEGOLAND Resorts – LEGOLAND Florida with its Water Park and LEGOLAND California theme park with Water Park, SEA LIFE aquarium and exciting new hotel; Madame Tussauds celebrity wax attractions in New York, Washington DC, Las Vegas and Hollywood; LEGOLAND Discovery Centers in Chicago; Dallas/Fort Worth; Kansas City Missouri; Atlanta, Georgia; and Westchester, New York; and SEA LIFE aquariums in Phoenix, Arizona; Kansas City, Missouri; Dallas/Fort Worth; and the Mall of America in Minneapolis - underlining the company's position as the world's biggest global aquarium operator.