The Krafts got rich making corrugated boxes. They got even richer building a championship football franchise. Forbes magazine pegs the family fortune at $1.1 billion. Now they are planning a third leg to the family business as big-time developers.
How big? Think Prudential Center big. While the Krafts are not ready to talk about it, several executives in the real estate and construction industries who have been briefed on the plans say the family is putting together an ambitious development on its 500 acres around Gillette Stadium that will exceed 1 million square feet. The working name: Patriots Place.
(Bob Kraft, eager to bring men together)
The development, a kind of ”guy mall,” will be heavily oriented toward big-box retail stores and entertainment. A Home Depot would be a natural. It is likely to include a hotel, restaurants, a 16-screen National Amusements theater, smaller boutique stores, and a ”lifestyle center” that would have a day-surgery center where guys could get their shoulder fixed without having to go into Boston. The Krafts already have a growing, largely male conference business at the stadium. The parts are still subject to change, but expect an announcement this year.
The Krafts have already reeled in a key component of Patriots Place. Bass Pro Shops, the wildly popular Wal-Mart of outdoor retailers, has signed on with the Krafts to open one of its megastores, probably next year. Bass Pro Shops is a phenomenon that last year drew 78 million people to its stores, the company says. Its flagship Missouri store — which is the size of seven football fields — is that state’s number one tourist attraction.
Writes Kevin T.,
I’ve got to hand it to the Kraft family for they truly are visionaries. I, for one, could never have imagined it was even possible to take Route 1 in Foxboro and make it even shittier. But I suppose that’s why the Krafts are worth over $1 billion and I’ve spent the first hour of my day looking for cheap apartments near the blue line of the el.