St. Clair ShoresJuly 16, 2012
Theater chain passes on Shores site
By Kristyne E. Demske
C & G Staff Writer
The “largest development proposal” to hit St. Clair Shores in years will instead be built in another location in southeast Macomb County, according to the CEO of Emagine Entertainment, Paul Glantz.
City officials announced June 4 that the chain of luxury movie theaters was looking to move to St. Clair Shores, on the southeast corner of 12 Mile Road and Little Mack Avenue.
But Glantz said July 16 that the challenges of the site, such as the lack of neighboring restaurants or other complementary businesses and the residential nature of the neighborhood, were not something they were able to overcome in planning the theater.
“It was not a sufficient size to build the amenities we aspire to,” he said, adding that, although “we had an agreement to park on contiguous land, it might be a constraint with lenders if you don’t own your own parking field.”
Glantz said Emagine Entertainment did not purchase the property.
In June, Glantz had said they hoped to share a parking lot with the medical center on 12 Mile Road, giving the theater about 2,200 seats.
Emagine bills itself as a chain of “luxury theatres,” some of which offer luxury seating sections, reserved seating and valet parking. It has locations in Novi, Canton, Woodhaven, Birch Run, Rochester Hills, Royal Oak and Clio.
“Obviously, we’re disappointed,” said St. Clair Shores Mayor Kip Walby. “They were trying to squeeze the design into the location and it just wasn’t a perfect piece of property for them and we understand, and we’ll keep trying to work on the next project.”
Glantz had said in June that Emagine believes the market is underserved in eastern Macomb County.
He said he couldn’t comment on where else the chain is looking to locate — it already passed on a location in Grosse Pointe — but Walby said he believes they are looking at a location on 13 Mile Road in Roseville.
Walby said he still has hopes for the 12 Mile Road property, though.
“I know I’m having another meeting with a developer on that piece of property so we’re working at it and we have the relationships with the owner and … there’s a possibility of another opportunity,” he said.
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