Sunshine Cinema Office Development Begins 9-Story Ascent
The Sunshine Cinema disappeared more than a year ago. Now, the replacement construction is starting to rear its proverbial head.
The steel skeleton recently reached a height of two stories, thanks to ongoing crane work. In the meantime, the middle of the block remains an obstacle course of traffic barriers, fences, and sidewalk bridges. (Let’s hope Yonah Schimmel’s Knishes makes it through.)
As previously reported, owner-developers East End Capital and K Property Group, who together purchased the Lower East Side theater three years ago for $31.5 million, are behind the nine-story construction. At a cost of about $90 million, the newcomer is to sport eight full-floor commercial units ranging in size from 5,000 to 6,800 square-feet. Each column-free office will have 12-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, concierge services, and private terraces. There is also one multi-level retail space with 60 feet of frontage, and an alleyway called “Houston Alley” for potential restaurant seating.
The elegant theater building at 139-143 East Houston had been built in 1898, and became the home of the Houston Hippodrome (Yiddish Theater) and, later, the “Sunshine Cinema” nickelodeon. It was restored to a movie theater in 2001.
The last movie to play here before closure and demolition was Hostiles in January 2018.