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Multiplex Cinemas site in contract for $75M

The Whitestone Multiplex Cinemas site is once again in contract for sale, this time for $75 million. The movie theater closed in 2012 after being a landmark in the community for 30 years.
Bronx Times
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The former site of the Whitestone Multiplex Cinemas, 2505 Bruckner Boulevard, has once again hit the market, according to published reports.

The latest buyers for the 20-acre site are Innovo Property Group and Square Mile Capital, who are in contract to pay Extell Development $75 million, according to Crain’s New York Business’s website, www.crainsnewyork.com.

Bordered by the Hutchinson River Parkway, Bruckner Boulevard and Westchester Creek, the parcel offers a unique opportunity.

Matthew Cruz, district manager for Community Board 10, expressed concerns about the tentative purchase, expected to be completed by the end of September.

“Aside from what’s stated in this (Crain’s) article, we aren’t aware of any future uses for this site,” Cruz said. “But we are asking that the new ownership meet with the community board and keep up apprised of any ideas they might have and get community input.”

Cruz says the area will be even more congested than it is now that the Unionport Drawbridge over the Westchester Creek at the Bruckner Interchange is scheduled to go under reconstruction.

“Obviously, this will put a damper, further worsen congestion in that area,” Cruz said. “We’d hope that the new owner would consider this and bring any ideas that they may have, as well as consider our take on things for that area.”

Construction of the new bridge is scheduled to begin this year and continue through 2021, according to William Nyman, a senior project manager at Hardesty & Hanover, the development company overseeing the bridge’s replacement.

He participated in a Wednesday, January 11, presentation at Monsignor Scanlan High School.

Extell had purchased the Whitestone Multiplex Cinemas site for $41 million in 2015 from the Lightstone Group, a Manhattan-based real estate company.

The Innovo Property Group, 1370 Avenue of the Americas, was founded by Andrew Chung in 2015, according to sources.

Prior to starting IPG, Chung was a partner at The Carlyle Group, heading the U.S. Real Estate Fund in the N.Y. office for 10 years.

Earlier in his career, Chung worked from a Washington, D.C., office in 2000 as an associate in the acquisitions group.

Chung graduated from the Wharton School of Business with a B.S. in Economics.

Square Mile Capital, 350 Park Avenue, is a leading investment manager with a history of investing in commercial real estate at all points in the market cycle on behalf of investors, according to its website.

The Bronx Times Reporter contacted IPG and SMC via phone and email, with no response from IPG and a brief email replay from the press contact at SMC.

IPG and SMC are partners in this venture hoping to close the deal by the end of this month.

They plan to raze the movie theater, which would more than double the size of the parking lot from 360,000 square feet to 740,000 square feet, according to Crain’s.

This would boost potential parking revenue to about $6 million annually, and reap 6 percent on their investment.

And, regarding their longer-term plans, they intend to develop 740,000 square feet of industrial space to lease to e-commerce companies for last-minute deliveries.

Prior to the Lightstone Group, the multiplex’s owner was KBT Theaters LLC of Norwood, MA.

Lightstone bought it for $30 million in 2012 with plans to convert the site into a ‘Woodbury Commons’ type retail outlet mall.

The movie theater was originally developed by the Sumner Redstone theater empire on a property that featured a drive-in theater decades earlier..

The Crain’s article listed Josh King among the investment sales team from Cushman and Wakefield that arranged the sale.

Reach Reporter Bob Guiliano at (718) 260-4599. E-mail him at bguiliano@cnglocal.com.
Posted 12:00 am, September 22, 2017
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