Deal to Redevelop St. Michael Movie Theater Falls Through

City of St. Michael Community Development Director Marc Weigle said Tuesday night remodeling the former theater site was simply too expensive.

A sign that the economic recovery is still dragging along here in the exurbs came front and center Tuesday night as l staff revealed a deal to redevelop the Cinemagic movie theater site fell through last week. 

City Administrator Bob Derus touched on the matter initially, saying the signs of an economic recovery are there, but development is just hard to move along. 

"The news of the Cinemagic deal falling through was very disheartening," he told the city council at its regular meeting Monday night. 

After the meeting, Community Development Director Marc Weigle said he still wouldn't tell media outlets who the potential buyer was, but that he had been told by both the potential developer and broker Wayne Elam that the deal was dead on arrival. 

"Really, it was the construction cost to remodel the existing structure, and any bids that they had received to add on to the current building," Weigle said. "They just felt the bids they had in hand were way too high, and that the soil on the eastern side, where they wanted to expand, would be a problem." 

Weigle said he learned that the buyer was walking away from the deal late last week. 

"I think the , which happened during their due diligence period, really made them re-examine this market. I think they're focusing on the inner ring [suburbs] right now, which is where a lot of people are at when it comes to development," Weigle said. "It's too bad. I don't think it was someone that was going to 'Wow' everybody, but it was something that would have fit our community and that location very well." 

Weigle said he was going to honor the firm's request not to release a brand name, on the odd chance the firm makes another attempt to bid out construction costs late this season or next season. 

"They could try it again. Maybe. You just never know. I think in a few weeks they may make some sort of announcement as to who it was," Weigle said. 

Stacy Zachman May 23, 2012 at 04:01 AM
Sparkles May 23, 2012 at 12:37 PM
What would they need to remodel? That building is fairly new so why couldn't someone purchase it and open it back up as is?
Mike Schoemer (Editor) May 23, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Due to the stadium seating --- the floors are pretty sloped.
Sparkles May 23, 2012 at 03:42 PM
I went to a few movies there and I don't remember it being more sloped than any other theatre that I've been to. They would want to remodel to take some of that out of the seating? Does anyone know why it closed in the first place?
Ann May 23, 2012 at 03:57 PM
If I remember correctly they were looking to remodel to use as some sort of retail sites, not another theater setting.
Mike Schoemer (Editor) May 23, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Cinemagic's ownership closed the St. Michael theater due to poor performance compared to its other properties, including a location in the south metro. It liquidated much of the inside materials - screens, seats, projectors etc. to pay off the multiple lenders behind the initial project. The inside is pretty much empty now.
Mike Schoemer (Editor) May 23, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Also, ANY sort of slope would hinder a retail location. Imagine Target's floors being sloped.
Mike Schoemer (Editor) May 23, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Correct. They wanted retail pads. Multiple.
Tom Pickard March 06, 2013 at 07:28 PM
Who owns it now and how much money would it take to buy it / lease it? I have a use for it that would use it as it was originally built for but not movies. A real destination place that could have ca chance at working and providing jobs!


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