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Virtual Reality Theme Parks Coming To Vacant Mall, Big-Box Space

Singapore-based Legend Heroes Park, which just opened a virtual reality theme park in Macao, is on the hunt for vacant retail space in the United States to expand its form of entertainment.


At VR theme parks, virtual and augmented reality technologies — such as holograms, motion tracking and project mapping — combine with physical rides, games and other attractions for what is billed as a more immersive experience.

Legend Heroes' space requirements aren't especially large. The company opened the first phase of its first location earlier this month in Studio City in Macao. A second phase will open in the spring, bringing the facility's total footprint to 64K SF.

For American locations, Legend Heroes wants 30K SF to 40K SF in major metro markets, specifically spaces with a minimum ceiling height of 16 feet overall, but with 40% of the space at least 32 feet high to accommodate rides, according to R.J. Brunelli Manager of New Tenant Representation Julie Fox. R.J. Brunelli, a tenant rep specialist based in New Jersey, is representing Legend Heroes in its hunt for U.S. space.

The company did not disclose exactly how many locations it wants to open in the United States.

Regional malls are the company's preferred venue — it can absorb vacant sub-anchors or single floors of former department stores. 

Legends Holdings will also consider vacant big-box retailers on the periphery of regional malls or in high-profile power centers, strip centers or free-standing highway locations. 

"The flexible concept presents a compelling alternative for properties desiring new options that can potentially bring back millennials who have shied away from malls in recent years," Fox said in a statement

Legend Heroes is hardly alone in the quest to open VR-themed attractions. About a year ago, Oriental Science Fiction Valley opened in Guizhou province in southwestern China. The 330-acre park has 35 VR rides, including spaceship flights, virtual roller coasters and shooter games.

Smaller VR arcades are opening as well, as part of the rapid growth of the entertainment technology. Grand View Research predicts that by 2025, the VR gaming industry will take in more than $45B in revenue worldwide.