New Six Flags Park Will Be First to Anchor Retail, Residential Development

The developers recently opened its Zhejiang Riverside Themed Town Exhibition Center, which will offer visitors an early look at the planned Riverside Themed Town.

Six Flags exhibition center. [Photo: Courtesy of Six Flags]

People visiting retail centers in mixed-use developments these days want more than shopping.

In response, developers are inserting more hands-on, authentic experiences in mixed-use projects. Some of these experiences are taking “authentic experiences” to a new level.

The most recent example comes courtesy of Grand Prairie-based Six Flags Entertainment Corp., and its partner, Beijing-based Riverside Investment Group Co. Ltd. The two have joined forces to develop the $4.6 billion, mixed-use Riverside Themed Town in China, on the coast of Hangzhou Bay, in the Zhejiang province.


Anchoring this massive retail and residential development will be a full-fledged Six Flags theme park, the first time a Six Flags park is being used to anchor a retail-and-residential project.

Exterior of the Exhibition Center.

The developers recently opened their Zhejiang Riverside Themed Town Exhibition Center, which will offer visitors an early look at the planned Riverside Themed Town.

This won’t be a typical Six Flags park.

According to Six Flags International President John Odum, the Zhejiang Riverside park will “feature record-breaking roller coasters, family rides, thrilling water slides, and world-class shows — along with themed sections that will pay homage to the rich and storied Chinese history and culture.”

The two developers are also working on a Hurricane Harbor Water Park, which will be added to the theme park.

According to an article written for the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties’ Development magazine, brick-and-mortar stores and developments, are offering hands-on, authentic experiences for the average shopper. This trend is called “experiential retail,” and while most anchors aren’t huge amusement parks, they do focus on movie theaters, play and concert venues, and art galleries. 


Or, those anchors might not be entertainment features at all. Locally, the mixed-use Legacy West in Plano, finds its star attraction in an iconic show fountain, the only one of its kind in North Texas, which is geared to drive pedestrian traffic.

The fountain is more than just a lot of water. Design firm Outside the Lines created the fountain to entertain, with many nozzles, colors, lights, and music in conjunction with water features. The piece gives Legacy West visitors a different type of entertainment — a place to congregate, according to the Dallas Business Journal.

Then there is the Crystal Lagoon, which is anchoring the $1 billion Bayside mixed-use development in Rockwall. The 8-acre Crystal Lagoon, will provide a white-sand beach experience for both those who will live there at Bayside and visitors to the local hotels. Those visiting the Crystal Lagoon can fish, sail, or swim in the waters that are consistently refreshed from a proprietary filter design.

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