Kids Empire entertainment center coming to Bayshore

The climbing area at a Kids Empire location. Credit: Kids Empire

Last updated on October 27th, 2022 at 03:14 pm

Less than a week after Bayshore announced plans to have a new movie theater and bowling alley operator reopen the space formerly occupied by iPic Entertainment, the Glendale shopping center says it will also add a children’s entertainment venue to its tenant roster.

West Hollywood-based Kids Empire will open its first Wisconsin location next summer on the northern end of the property, across the street from The Cheesecake Factory. The 11,125-square-foot space was formerly leased by a LensCrafters store.

Kids Empire is a secure indoor children’s entertainment center that features mazes, slides, rides, creative building games, climbing, bouncing and ball pits. In addition to a large, multi-level playground, the venue will include a smaller playground for infants and toddlers. The venues are “screen-less environments” with activities for children of all ages. All children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, according to a news release.

Kids Empire has 39 locations currently open and four opening soon across 10 states. The company is looking to expand into other markets in Wisconsin, said Jay Blom, a retail broker with Milwaukee-based Founders 3 Real Estate Services, which represented Kids Empire in the lease deal.

“We are thrilled to bring Kids Empire to Bayshore and provide fun interactive activities for families while they make new memories,” said Mary Mokwa, senior general manager at Bayshore.

Bayshore’s owner, Cypress Equities, was represented by Mid-America Real Estate. Irving, Texas-based ID Studio 4 will head up the architecture and design work for the space.

Kids Empire offers reservations for birthday parties, with options for pre-packaged foods, bottled drinks and other giveaways. The venue will partner with local pizzerias, caterers and bakers, allowing groups to customize the party’s food and beverage selection.

The new entertainment center will be located down the street from ACX Cinemas‘ recently announced 42,951 square-foot movie theater, bowling alley and restaurant, also slated to open next summer. Former tenant iPic closed its Bayshore movie theater and bowling alley four years ago, and the space has sat empty ever since.

Both entertainment concepts are the latest additions to the newly redeveloped Bayshore. Over the past few years, owner Cypress Equities has invested millions of dollars in downsizing the mall’s retail space and demolishing or converting existing buildings for other uses. Bayshore has drawn a wave of new tenants, such as Nike, Total Wine & More, Target and Crumbl Cookies. A Culver’s restaurant was built on the north side of the property, alongside the under-construction 311-unit Bayshore Residences apartment development.

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Maredithe has covered retail, restaurants, entertainment and tourism since 2018. Her duties as associate editor include copy editing, page proofing and managing work flow. Meyer earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University and still enjoys attending men’s basketball games to cheer on the Golden Eagles. Also in her free time, Meyer coaches high school field hockey and loves trying out new restaurants in Milwaukee.

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