The owners of the Movieland at Boulevard Square movie theater complex near Scott’s Addition in Richmond are looking at selling all or part of the property.
New York-based Bow Tie Partners has put up the entire 16.93 acres it owns at the northeast quadrant of North Arthur Ashe Boulevard and West Leigh Street or would sell just the vacant 5.88 acres just east of the theater’s parking lots.
“We are exploring options for a potential sale-leaseback of the existing buildings or a redevelopment of the property to enhance the two existing buildings,” said Joseph Masher, the chief operating officer of Bow Tie Partners.
“We are not planning to close either Movieland or The Criterion,” he said.
The 17-screen Movieland complex opened in February 2009. The company transformed the historic building — built in 1887 to make and assemble locomotives and then in more recent years used as an assembly plant for Richmond Steel Inc. — into the movie theater complex.
In 2012, Bow Tie opened a four-screen theater, called Criterion Cinemas at Movieland, in a separate building across the parking lot from the main Movieland building. That smaller theater is used mostly for art, foreign and independent films.
Masher said Bow Tie had been thinking about a sale-leaseback or redevelopment of its property before the coronavirus pandemic, which forced the company to temporarily shut down its theaters here and 24 other locations in Virginia, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, New Jersey and New York.
The Movieland complex reopened on July 1. Attendance has been growing since, Masher said.
The family-owned Bow Tie has retained commercial real estate brokerage CBRE as an adviser in the sale or redevelopment of the property. Andrew Ferguson and Eric Williford are listed as the brokers.
“The property and neighborhood are benefited by the central location fronting Arthur Ashe Boulevard and encompassing Bow Tie Cinemas’ Movieland, with immediate access to major interstates, apartments, breweries, restaurants, entertainment venues, grocery stores and high-profile corporate office users,” according to CBRE’s promotional flyer on the property.
The flyer promoting the sale of the property does not list an asking price.
The 16.93-acre property is divided into two parcels.
The 11.05 acres is used for the Movieland and Criterion Cinemas buildings and the parking lots. That parcel is assessed at $18.098 million, according to the city’s online real estate data.
It is owned by BTP Boulevard Square LLC, the entity tied to Bow Tie Partners.
The second parcel is mostly wooded and located to the east of the parking lots. It is assessed for $2.816 million, the city’s online property records show.
BTP Boulevard Square bought the 5.88 acres on the north side of West Leigh Street, just east of the railroad tracks, in September 2011.
Bow Tie Partners had initially acquired the 5.88 acres to build restaurants or retail shops. The company had said when it bought the land that the additional property was a way to fulfill its vision for the complex by creating a complete entertainment experience with several new restaurants.
Yet nothing has materialized on that part of the property.
Bow Tie is looking to sell either the entire 16.93 acres or the 5.88-acre parcel, according to the flyer.