Home » MBJ FEATURE » Northpark owner buys theater, but may repurpose

Northpark owner buys theater, but may repurpose

By
Jack Weatherly

No
one was in a hurry to buy the building that houses the UA Northpark
14.

That
was obvious after its owner, United Development Co. of Southlake,
Texas, put it on the market in early 2016.

It
failed to get a buyer in more than two years.

The owner then tried to auction the 36,000-square-foot building and surrounding parking space on the north side of the Northpark Mall on June 28 of this year.

No
buyers again.

Pacific
Retail Capital Partners – which bought the 958,000-square-foot
Northpark Mall from the Simon Property Group for an undisclosed
amount in September 2016 – decided to exercise its first-right of
refusal option, which was part of the acquisition. The deal was
finalized on Friday.

Turns
out, Pacific Retail may well not want it either – as a movie house.

“We’re
weighing all
options,” said
Christy Pender,
marketing and business
development manager for Northpark.

“It’s
a perfect opportunity for us pave the way for future growth
opportunities,” Pender said in an interview on Monday.

“There
are several exciting things we could do.

“If
you look at the building and the parking around it, it’s a pretty
nice piece of land.”

Pender said the plans would fit in with the multimillion-dollar remodeling and repurposing of the mall, which was built in 1984 on the north side of County Line Road in Ridgeland and last underwent a major update in 1998.

Malls
of that era are facing headwinds of online shopping and
third-party shipping.
So malls
are attempting to
reinvent themselves as
destination and entertainment centers
along with retailing.

Northpark’s
future, which will be celebrated
in a grand opening in mid-November, includes enhanced dining, a
children’s play area, along with upgraded restrooms, interior and
exterior landscaping, furniture, fixtures, lighting and common areas.

As
far as the lease agreement with Regal Entertainment Group, Pender
would only say that the theater “currently remains operational.”

Regal
was sold to British chain Cineworld for $3.6 billion in December,
according to Variety.

Knoxville-based
Regal operates 561 cinemas in 43 states and U.S. territories. Its
major brands are Regal Cinemas, United Artists Theatres and Edwards
Theatres.

Regal
put itself on the sale block in 2015 but could not find a buyer,
Variety reported.

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About Ross Reily

Ross Reily is editor of the Mississippi Business Journal. He is a husband to an amazing wife, dad to 3 crazy kids and 2 dogs. He is also a fan of the Delta State Fighting Okra and the Boston Red Sox.

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