First Watch Joins Regency’s Willa Springs Following Redevelopment

Regency is thrilled to announce that First Watch is now open for business at Willa Springs shopping center in Winter Springs, FL. The popular breakfast, lunch, and brunch restaurant has joined the center’s vibrant merchandising mix, offering elevated classics and seasonal specialties that are sure to delight both locals and visitors.

A Fresh, New Look for Willa Springs

The addition of First Watch comes on the heels of a comprehensive redevelopment of Willa Springs. Addressing previous maintenance issues and an outdated aesthetic, Regency embarked on a renovation project to breathe new life into the shopping center. The updates included replacing the existing canopy systems with modern ones and introducing a refreshed color scheme featuring whites, grays, and blacks.

The transformation was driven by a desire to modernize the center's appearance and improve the overall shopping experience. After achieving 100% occupancy, Regency Centers saw the perfect opportunity to give Willa Springs a facelift, ensuring it meets contemporary standards and appeals to today’s shoppers.

Notable enhancements to Willa Springs include:

  • Updated Publix Exterior Facade: The removal of columns and the addition of a new canopy have opened up sight lines, making the space more inviting.
  • New Awnings: Green steel awnings, which were susceptible to rust and water intrusion, have been replaced with sleek black standing seam and canvas awnings.
  • Placemaking Efforts: Outdoor seating areas have been introduced, featuring bright umbrellas and potted plants, creating a welcoming atmosphere for shoppers and diners alike.
  • Improved Visibility: Removing the barrel cover allows tenants to be seen more clearly, enhancing their visibility and appeal.

First Watch: A Strong Addition

First Watch has made an impressive mark on the newly renovated space. Their inside and outside bar areas, along with a still-in-progress patio, offer a fantastic dining experience. The restaurant occupies a 4,875 SF space that seats 160 people, providing ample room for patrons to comfortably enjoy their meals. 

Panera Bread, which had been a long-standing tenant for 20 years, left a significant gap that First Watch has successfully filled, bringing a fresh and exciting new option for diners in the area.

This new Winter Springs location is the first of five additional First Watch restaurants planned for Central Florida, with future locations set to open in 4 Corners, Kissimmee, Altamonte Springs, and Mount Dora.

marc-elias-headshotFirst Watch is the ‘front door’ to the Willa Springs project, and what they’ve done with the space is nothing short of phenomenal,” said Marc Elias, Senior Leasing Agent. “As their largest landlord, Regency is proud to have First Watch as a strong and enduring tenant in our portfolio.

Surrounded by a dense, affluent market, Willa Springs is a high-traffic shopping center that attracts nearly 1.6 million annual visits. The 89,930 SF shopping center is fully leased and features a recently remodeled Starbucks and an expanded Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa. OrangeTheory Fitness also recently joined the center, adding to the center’s dynamic merchandising mix.