Coming Attractions: Soil Sampling as Sunshine Cinema Redevelopment Looms

Posted on: August 10th, 2017 at 5:00 am by

Outside the Sunshine Cinema on East Houston Street, a preview of the future. Namely, the forthcoming redevelopment of the neighborhood movie house into upscale retail and commercial offices.

This Davey Drill was spotted taking soil samples yesterday from beneath the sidewalk. Such testing usually signifies the preliminary step before larger construction action begins.

East End Capital and K Property Group purchased the property from Landmark Theaters this past May for $31.5 million. The blockbuster sale went through two years after the cinema was first marketed. These new investors will convert the building into a mixed-use project with ground-level retail and upstairs office space. The development site includes 20,000 square-feet of air rights, which they’ll presumably pocket for a later date.

Photo: East End Capital

As for the Sunshine Cinema itself, the business will close sometime in January 2018 once the lease is up.

Pre-sale, Landmark had been struggling to keep up with maintaining this location. Mainly due to the rising rents. That was the impetus behind an ill-fated liquor license application five years ago to convert the movie house into a dining destination much like Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg.

Regarding the plans, Jonathan Yormak of East End Capital noted that, “We see the transition from bar and nightlife area to a live/work environment.”

The elegant theater building at 139-143 East Houston was built in 1898.

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