Albany Business Review Oct 23, 2014, 3:01pm EDT
The newest tenant coming to Crossgates Mall in suburban Albany, New York is Latitude 360, and if you’re not familiar with this sports theater/bowling alley/night club/live concert venue, you will be.

The business will fill a cavernous, 50,000-square-foot space when it opens in late November or early December in an area that was once the domain of clothing retailer H&M, Best Buy Mobile, AT&T and Brookstone.

In their place is what’s being billed as a “cruise ship on land” — where you can see a concert or comedian, sit on leather couches while waiting for your turn to bowl a strike, eat, drink, dance, play an arcade game or watch football games and mixed-martial arts contests on large video screens.

“These are all great experiences that no one else can give the customer,” said Brent Brown, founder and CEO. “It really creates a true destination.”
I talked to Brown about Latitude 360 for a cover story running in the Oct. 24 edition of Albany Business Review about how malls such as Crossgates, the largest in the region, are fighting back against the rising tide of online shopping.

A big part of the strategy is luring tenants such as Latitude 360 to give people more reasons to go the mall than to buy a pair of jeans or a pocketbook, while continuing to sign deals with chains that can’t be found anywhere else in the region.

Crossgates, owned by Syracuse-based Pyramid Cos., has already taken these steps with the arcade/bar Dave & Buster’s, World of Beer, upscale department store Lord & Taylor and designer handbag boutique Michael Kors.

Construction is underway next to Dave & Buster’s on an expansion that will accommodate up to four more restaurants/entertainment destinations. While the names of those tenants haven’t been released yet, Latitude 360 is no secret.

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