Advertisement
  1. News
  2. /
  3. Business

Go-karts, arcade and more coming to Citrus Park mall. Here’s a peek

The owner of Elev8 Fun said malls need to adapt in order to survive. His answer is to open large entertainment centers.
Renderings of the second floor of Elev8 Fun, which will include go-karts, a bar and a mini golf course.
Renderings of the second floor of Elev8 Fun, which will include go-karts, a bar and a mini golf course. [ Courtesy of PrimeTime Amusements ]
Published Mar. 15

The former Sears department store at the Citrus Park Town Center is getting a makeover.

The department store space will become Elev8 Fun, a family entertainment center with go-karts, a retro arcade, laser tag, mini golf, a kid zone, e-sports, bowling, plus a restaurant and bar, said PrimeTime Amusements owner David Goldfarb. It’s set to open by the end of the year — if there aren’t delays from construction and supply chain issues, he said.

“We thought that Tampa is really missing a really good entertainment venue for such a big market,” Goldfarb said. “I mean you have facilities here, but not at the scale that we’re doing it.”

The restaurant inside will feature American favorites on the menu “typical to a TGI Fridays” like hamburgers, chicken wings, pizza, salads and vegetarian options.

Related: Shuttered Citrus Park Sears store targeted for 'family fun’ center
Renderings of the first floor for Elev8 Fun, which will feature bowling and dining.
Renderings of the first floor for Elev8 Fun, which will feature bowling and dining. [ Courtesy of PrimeTime Amusements ]

PrimeTime Amusements, based in South Florida, bought the 128,000-square-foot space in December 2019 for $5.5 million from a company tied to former Sears CEO Eddie Lampert, according to property records. The Sears store closed in 2018.

Sears spaces have been redeveloped across Tampa Bay in recent years. At Countryside Mall, the former department store space is now home to a Whole Foods Market. At Tyrone Square in St. Petersburg, the Sears was redeveloped to make way for a Dick’s Sporting Goods store and a Lucky’s Market grocery store (which has since closed). In 2020, the last Sears in Tampa was demolished for a redevelopment of the University Mall.

The Citrus Park Town Center in west Hillsborough County was formerly known as Westfield Citrus Park, but Westfield gave back ownership of the shopping center including Countryside Mall when they defaulted on a multimillion-dollar loan. The lenders filed a lawsuit at the end of 2020 and took over the two suburban malls.

Goldfarb said malls need to adapt in order to survive and compete against e-commerce platforms like Amazon. His answer to bringing people back to the shopping centers is with entertainment centers.

Renderings of the masterplan for Elev8, an entertainment center coming to Citrus Park Town Center by the end of 2022 that includes a retro arcade and e-sports.
Renderings of the masterplan for Elev8, an entertainment center coming to Citrus Park Town Center by the end of 2022 that includes a retro arcade and e-sports. [ Courtesy of PrimeTime Amusements ]

Goldfarb also created Ft. Lauderdale’s Xtreme Action Park, an entertainment center with similar offerings, including a ropes course. Another Elev8 Fun opened recently in Sanford’s Seminole Towne Center. He expects the Elev8 opening in Tampa Bay to draw more traffic to the Citrus Park mall.

Follow trends affecting the local economy

Follow trends affecting the local economy

Subscribe to our free Business by the Bay newsletter

We’ll break down the latest business and consumer news and insights you need to know every Wednesday.

You’re all signed up!

Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.

Explore all your options

Goldfarb said he prefers a mall atmosphere because of the larger square footage spaces that are usually available. It can be difficult to find a space big enough in other commercial locations.

Renderings of the masterplan for Elev8, an entertainment center coming to Citrus Park Town Center by the end of 2022.
Renderings of the masterplan for Elev8, an entertainment center coming to Citrus Park Town Center by the end of 2022. [ Courtesy of PrimeTime Amusements ]

“We call ourselves kind of an eight-dimensional facility. And what I mean by that is, is we try to get approximately eight different attractions under one roof,” Goldfarb said.

PrimeTime Amusements plans to open between 12 to 15 locations across the state of Florida. Goldfarb said he’s purchasing a third site in Jensen Beach and is targeting two more department stores spaces for next year.

A rendering of Elev8 Fun which is taking the place of Sears at Citrus Park Town Center.
A rendering of Elev8 Fun which is taking the place of Sears at Citrus Park Town Center. [ Courtesy of PrimeTime Amusements ]
Advertisement

This site no longer supports your current browser. Please use a modern and up-to-date browser version for the best experience.

Chrome Firefox Safari Edge