Project: KRATE container park at the Grove at Wesley Chapel
Location: 6105 Wesley Grove Blvd., Wesley Chapel
Date: Broke ground in October; expected to open in early 2021.
Cost: $15 million to 20 million
Size: 7 acres
Builder: Mishorim Gold Properties
Architect: Mishorim Gold Properties
Project details: KRATE is part of Israeli developer Mark Gold’s larger effort to transform the Grove at Wesley Chapel, a 250-acre shopping center that his company, Mishorim Gold Properties, bought for $64 million in September 2019. Gold is spending $110 million on upgrades and renovations, including $15 million to $20 million budgeted for KRATE, a new addition to the complex that consists of 94 shipping containers that have been converted into 54 individual business units. The mix, Gold says, will be about 70% restaurants and 30% retail. The facility will also feature a stage with daily live entertainment, a dog park, children’s play area and custom art.
Cool factor: Call it what you want — serendipity, coincidence or just plain dumb luck — but Gold might have picked the perfect time to open KRATE, a shopping and entertainment area that aligns with pandemic-driven trends that have reshaped consumer preferences and behavior. Namely, it’s an open-air complex, and it’s environmentally friendly, using repurposed shipping containers. Also with commercial leases starting at $1,500 per month, it’s intended to attract local entrepreneurs — “mom and pop” businesses, Gold says — who have great ideas for products and services but need an affordable space to set up shop. Mishorim Gold Properties says KRATE, when completed, will be the largest container park in the world, and Gold says it will offer something for the entire family. Gold says the property is 90% leased. Confirmed tenants include The Cake Girl, Buttermilk Provisions, Zukku Sushi, 365 Caffe Italiano and Tablas Cheese and Wine Bar. “It’s good for parents, kids, the dog, even grandmothers,” he says. “I want people to feel safe. The good thing is that everything is outside.”
Challenges: “It’s been ‘Mission: Impossible’ to find materials,” Gold says of the hurdles he faced in bringing KRATE from concept to reality. Skilled labor, already an issue before the pandemic set in, was an even greater challenge. Gold says it got to the point where he had to bring in workers from North Carolina and Louisiana to work on the project, which is partly why its budget, originally forecast to be $15 million, will likely end up around around $20 million. Overall, though, Gold is happy with how KRATE is going and says he plans to build at least 20 similar projects nationwide.