TAMPA — Bowling balls and arcade games are in line to replace Kenmore appliances and Craftsman tools inside the former Sears store at Westfield Citrus Park.
Hillsborough County commissioners, without comment, approved a land-use change Tuesday morning allowing the former retail store on the north side of the mall to become a “multipurpose recreational facility” of nearly 125,000 square feet.
“It will be a family entertainment center with bowling, arcades, food and beverage, among other things,” David Goldfarb, owner of the Fort Lauderdale arcade game and rental business PrimeTime Amusements, said through a spokeswoman.
The land-use change, covering 8 acres, is required because current zoning prohibits an amusement park at the location. The new zoning will be limited to allow indoor family entertainment, including a children’s play area, video/virtual reality arcade games, laser tag, bowling, mini-golf, escape rooms, ropes course, and food and beverage areas, according to county records.
Goldfarb is listed on public records as the agent for the property owner, a Miami-based corporation named for the property’s address, 7902 Citrus Park Town Center. Goldfarb is consulting on the project, but is not the owner, said Melissa Perlman of BlueIvy Communications.
Another Goldfarb company developed the 200,000-square-foot Xtreme Action Park in Fort Lauderdale, an entertainment center offering rope courses, bowling lanes, go-karts and arcade games. The Citrus Park project will not include an indoor go-kart track, said Perlman.
The Sears store closed in 2018, and 7902 Citrus Park Town Center LLC, acquired the site 11 months ago for $5.5 million.
Building indoor amusement centers has become a familiar way to redevelop vacant big box stores. Over the past two years, for instance, three trampoline parks filled space left empty by Kmart, Sports Authority and Kash n' Karry locations in Pasco County.