Shops gear up for Willow Park-Palooza

Willow Park-Palooza will celebrate The Shops at Willow Park with a day full of activities April 28.

One year after businesses began to open at the Shops at Willow Park, the shopping center is gearing up for the first of many community events — the Willow Park-Palooza.

“We want this event to really provide something for the community, and to introduce all our different businesses,” said Julieta Wilks, vice president of leasing and sales for Wilks Development, which owns the Shops. “There will be plenty of activities for kids, and fun for the whole family.”

Willow Park-Palooza is set for April 28 with a full slate of activities, including yoga, tai chi, games, face painting and a fire simulation by the Willow Park Fire Department.

Radio stations 95.9 The Ranch FM and 92.1 Hank FM have partnered with Wilks Development for the festivities, Wilks said.

“Honestly, we just want to bring the community together. Hopefully this is the start of more great events.”

In May 2017 Wilks Development hosted its tenant reveal party to introduce its first businesses to the public. 

Almost a year later, the shopping center is now fully leased, Wilks said, though some of the tenants have not been revealed to the public and some stores are still under construction. 

“We’re currently working with a bank to fill the bank pad, but everything is moving forward. We’re also working with a couple of restaurants, and we’ve closed on a hotel for the hospitality site. We’re waiting on them to give us the go-ahead to release information on what brand of hotel it’s going to be, and we’re hopeful that will happen soon. 

“Things are moving forward. We’re excited we’re fully leased at this point, and about all the tenants we have here.” 

The Shops now has five restaurants, according to its tenant directory: Parker County Brewing Company, the first place in Parker County to brew beer since the 1800s; Drake’s Yoke, which specializes in southern food; Cafe 23:5, a coffee shop; Orange Leaf, a frozen yogurt shop, and Sunny Street Cafe, which serves breakfast and lunch. 

For clothes and jewelry, there are three boutiques at the shopping center: Byrd Mill, Carys Lane and Red Horse Boutique.

Lifestyle-related businesses round out the Shops, with 2 Ten Salon Studios, a full service salon; Mathnasium, a learning center with a focus on math; Blow & Go Blow Dry Bar, which specializes in quick blowouts and other hairstyling processes; Tree of Life Wellness Center, a yoga studio; Ziva Nail Lounge, a nail salon, and Taylor Your Tan, a tanning salon. 

Willow Park City Council Member Amy Fennell said the Shops are an example of how “high quality development” can benefit a city. 

“The shops have brought new energy to Willow Park and have shown what a high quality development can do for a town,” she said. “I look forward to their next phase as they begin shaping the green space into park areas for families. Great things are ahead.”

Willow Park Mayor Doyle Moss described the Shops as “a great asset.” 

“It’s been a great asset to the city, since it’s given people more options to shop and eat,” Moss said. “It’s an economic boost to the city. And it’s good not only for the people who live here now, but for the people who are coming with all the growth we’re experiencing.”

“We’ve had an amazing response. We decided to go with local shops instead of national chains, and it’s turned out great,” she said. “We really want to showcase our local businesses. The community has loved that we have smaller, mom and pop stores. They love our green space and our outdoor theater, and the walkability has been a hit. 

“The thing that people are asking for now is to have everything open as soon as possible. They’re excited to see what else is coming.” 

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