KINGSTON – While Kingston may be small, Brent Brown, founder and CEO of Latitude 360 believes it can be mighty.
Latitude 360 has three locations based in large shopping centers in Jacksonville, Fla., Pittsburgh and Indianapolis and two other locations under construction in Albany, N.Y., and Minneapolis, Minn.

Then there is Kingston. While Kingston doesn’t compare in size to the cities where Latitude 360 is established, Brown sees an opportunity for further growth of a unique concept that can be tailored to any location.

“We look for locations where we feel we can have a great presence,” he said. “We build our platform around the market in areas like Kingston, where we feel there is a big void for live entertainment and a multidimensional venue like ours.”

The Kingston Collection and larger shopping centers aren’t that different when it comes to the direction they are pursing, namely focusing more on entertainment in addition to retail. The Latitude 360 concept is a concept that’s in demand, he said.

“I think it’s a mall that is evolving like most other malls are doing right now,” he said. “We’re getting calls every week.”

Brown learned of the Kingston Collection through a broker, having worked with the Pyramid Management Group in Albany to open a Latitude 360 at its shopping center there. Site visits, a demographic study and a market analysis convinced him that Kingston’s size wasn’t an obstacle.

He determined that Kingston was a growing South Shore community in the Boston region that could draw visitors looking for a mix of retail, entertainment and dining that many malls are working to develop.

At a groundbreaking ceremony for the Kingston Collection last June, Stephen Congel, CEO of the Pyramid Management Group, said that Pyramid has “fully re-committed to this project both financially and from a resource perspective.”

“We have re-committed because we believe in this market, the town of Kingston and Plymouth County,” he said.

In early 2013, the mall was up for auction after Pyramid defaulted on its mortgage, but the company bought the mall back at a foreclosure sale over the summer. In the fall of 2013 the company announced that it was making a multimillion-dollar investment in expansion of the mall as the premier retail, outlet, entertainment and dining destination on the South Shore.

Kingston Selectmen Chairman Elaine Fiore is excited about the future of the Kingston mall and the direction it’s going in.

“I’m encouraged by Pyramid Management Group’s vision for the mall,” she said. “They have shown their commitment to Kingston with their investment of time, energy and revenue in the property. To be successful, they need to engage tenants that will be sustainable now and into the future. Over the years, the Internet has reduced foot traffic at retail stores, and Pyramid Management Group has embraced that change by being innovative. Right now, that is a mix of retail stores and entertainment venues at Kingston Collection.”

Fiore said mall management has the support of town officials.

“The Board of Selectmen and Town Administrator Robert Fennessy have supported these changes and look forward to Kingston Collection being the showcase for the South Shore,” she said. “We urge everyone to take advantage of the unique experiences offered only at Kingston Collection.”

The space available for Latitude 360 in the mall is like a blank canvas, Brown said. It’s one of the smallest Latitude 360 locations, but he has the option for more space on either side to grow. Brown has a 15-year lease with management. The Kingston location is expected to open at the end of July.

The 37,000-square-foot facility with audio/visual technology will feature a high-end restaurant, bar and nightclub, luxury bowling, game rooms, an HD sports theater and live entertainment. Fun events would include fashion shows and trunk shows with vendors from online sites and within the mall showcasing their merchandise.

“We offer a lifestyle brand,” Brown said, with multiple entertainment options and different dining experiences that make it a place that’s intergenerational, where everybody can have fun. Brown said their business model is unique to adapt to today’s business environment. It’s a concept he started developing in 2009 before opening his first location in 2011.

Last year the Board of Selectmen conditionally approved a new annual restaurant all-alcoholic beverages license for Latitude 360 Kingston LLC. The operating hours were announced as 11 a.m. to midnight Sunday through Wednesday and 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Brown, an experienced real estate developer, said he believes Latitude 360 can be a great asset to the Kingston Collection because of the nature of the business. The entertainment value can draw people into the mall, giving other tenants added exposure.

He said he’s excited to be part of the revitalization of the mall and its future success as an economic driver in the community and beyond.

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