Thursday, May 12, 2022

[UPDATE] Prepare to be Schooled (and Slimed) at the Sloomoo Institute

A former Buckhead electronics store turned experiential kid co-working concept will soon welcome an unexpected new occupant:  a business dedicated to slime!  Sloomoo Institute, a New York-based concept described as "a sensory-filled slime playground for children and adults," will open in the former Kefi at Buckhead Triangle in Buckhead.  Backed by Chick-fil-A's Red Wagon Ventures, Kefi opened to much fanfare in August 2019 but permanently closed this past May

Co-founders Karen Robinovitz and Sara Schiller opened the original Sloomoo Institute in New York's SoHo neighborhood in October 2019.  At the time, the concept was designed as a "pop-up," and was to remain open through April 2020.  Despite the pandemic, the business exceeded expectations and is now a fixture in SoHo, attracting families, companies and celebrities alike.  

As Robinovitz tells it, slime, and its activation of four of your five senses, has tremendous relaxing properties.  Following the sudden death of her husband, Robinovitz was in a deep depression, and it was a visit from family friends and their daughter who brought slime with her that she realized how powerful, yet calming, slime could be.  Minutes turned into hours and Robinovitz, whose anxiety and depression had previously crippled her, knew she was on to something.  

Slime - whether smelling it, seeing it, feeling it, or hearing it - is definitely the main attracting at Sloomoo, but the concept also offers a kinetic sandbox, among other non-slime related activities.  A DIY bar also allows visitors to create their own slime concoction, and a gift shop provides ways to celebrate slime in different ways.  

“We work with a data science team that’s driving a lot of our location search and is homing in on areas where ticketed moments are thriving and where there are large numbers of families,” Robinovitz told Forbes this past December. 

The Buckhead outpost, which measures nearly 29,000 square feet, will be more than three times the size of their 8,000 square foot New York site and will be the largest location to date.  A 20,000 square foot location is planned for Chicago followed by outposts in Denver, Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco, among other cities.  

A permit was filed April 29 with the City of Atlanta for the "proposed interior buildout in a 28,568 sq. ft. existing ground floor mercantile and storage space.  Including demolition of previous tenant select millwork and flooring, new non- structural partitions, sprinklers, plumbing."  The permit indicates the estimated cost of construction is $635,000.  

It's likely the company was attracted to the former Kefi site due to the existing infrastructure it provides which should in turn lessen their capital expenditures and expedite their build-out.  Permit delays (hopefully) behind them, a company representative indicates they plan to open November 1.  

Nickelodeon, a brand synonymous with slime, brought their "Slime City" pop-up experience to Atlanta in 2019, but it closed later that fall, which gave way for the Atlanta return of Candytopia, a candy focused pop-up.  The space both pop-ups occupied was a former Cost Plus World Market store, a roughly 20,000 square foot space in Buckhead Landing (currently home of the "Disco Kroger") about a mile and a half from where Sloomoo will open.  According to the Slime City website, the pop-up was subsequently set up at Aventura Mall near Miami, but following its closure, is currently without any locations.  

To raise funds for their expansion, Sloomoo brought on an investor, Nicole Shanahan, who invested $2.5 million and took a seat on the advisory board. “As an angel investor, it’s one of my larger check sizes,” said Shanahan.  A lawyer who founded and leads ClearAccessIP, a patent-valuation and management company, Shanahan married Google founder Sergey Brin in 2018.

Sloomoo's New York location, 475 Broadway in SoHo, offers two ticket levels, general and enhanced, priced at $39 and $69, respectively.  The prices for Atlanta have not been set but will likely be similar. 

Have you been to the Sloomoo Institute?  Are you excited to see such an inventive concept open in Atlanta?  What is your fondest slime experience?

Please share your thoughts below.   

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Quite honestly that is a terrible location and the lease deal is pretty good for anyone who rents there. Since Circuit City went under then h.h.gregg, they have basically been begging anyone to lease there. Hopefully they have a robust marketing plan for the slime so people will show up.

Anonymous said...

$39 to $69...per person? Families with kids might find this a bit high priced...probably one of the reasons that Kefi didn't do well.

Anonymous said...

Slime is gross.

Anonymous said...

I'm clearly missing something because I just don't get it.

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