Edge of our seats: Plano-based theater chain Cinemark was expected in April to close on the purchase of a parcel near Tanger Outlets, a shopping center at 5884 Interstate 45 in Texas City. But those with front-row seats to negotiations said Cinemark has pulled out of the deal.
So, what went wrong?
Some sources said Cinemark was seeking concessions the land owner wasn’t willing to give. Cinemark officials did not immediately return calls.
The movie theater chain operates a Cinemark Movies 12 at the former Mall of the Mainland, 10000 E.F. Lowry Expressway in Texas City, where it has a lease until 2016. The chain also operates an 18-screen movie theater in Webster. If it was an issue of a bargaining impasse, it’s possible Cinemark will scout another nearby site, sources said.
Texas City Mayor Matt Doyle on Monday said he hadn’t heard that Cinemark had dropped mainland plans and called the chain a good operator in his city. Still, if Cinemark doesn’t grab land near Tanger Outlets and where a massive Buc-ee’s filling station/store is under way, then another movie theater will, Doyle said.
Land near Tanger is attracting much interest, Doyle said. Mainlanders like their movies and with only two years left on Cinemark’s lease at the defunct mall, someone will want to meet market demand, Doyle said.
“That’s too many people left stranded without a local movie theater,” Doyle said.
Cinemark operates 504 theaters with 5,794 screens in 40 U.S. states, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and 10 other Latin American countries.
To the Pointe: Can’t get enough details and updates about the proposed theme park Adventure Pointe on 35 acres on the south side of Tanger Outlets in Texas City? Developers this month launched a sleek new website www.adventurepointe.com to keep everyone posted.
Dr. Harvey E. Slusky, the development’s mastermind, plans a venue with vintage trains, an “iceless” skating rink, zip lines, go-carts and a 60-room hotel owned and operated by an established chain.
Store wars: News last week that specialty grocer The Fresh Market would shutter a Houston store open for less than a year while curbing expansion plans in new markets raised questions about the proposed Baybrook Village location. But officials with the North Carolina chain on Friday said plans for the Baybrook Village store, 1507 W. Bay Area Blvd., are moving forward and that it would open sometime this year.
The Fresh Market is finding competition in the Houston-area market to be a bruising, if not brutal. The first local Fresh Market casualty is the River Oaks store at Wesleyan and Westheimer, which happened to be near H-E-B’s highly successful Central Market concept.
Along with plans to open the Baybrook Village site, The Fresh Market intends to keep its three remaining Houston stores open, officials said.
The Fresh Market, which bills itself as a specialty grocer, has about 137 stores in 26 states. It’s known for bountiful produce, a full-service meat counter, gourmet and prepared foods and an in-store bakery.
With its Baybrook Village store, the grocer is aiming for shoppers in Webster, Friendswood and League City, officials said.
Short-circuit: Meanwhile, Fort Worth-based electronics retailer Radio Shack generated buzz earlier this month by announcing it would close 1,100 of its underperforming U.S. stores as it reported a $191.4 million loss in the fourth quarter.
Exactly what that means for stores in Galveston, League City, Texas City, La Marque and Kemah remains to be seen. Officials responded to Buzz queries with this statement:
“We are not releasing a store closing list at this time. However, Radio Shack will maintain market coverage as part of this plan, with more than 4,000 U.S. stores in the Radio Shack footprint. We will have information to share in the future.”
Industry analysts and observers blamed Radio Shack’s dated image and loss of market share to Best Buy and Amazon.com.
Center of attention: The West Island Professional Center, 6511 Stewart Road in Galveston, has welcomed three new tenants.
• First, principals of an Internet station that would promote the county’s small businesses, events and artists has leased Suite 6G at the center. Islander Bill Quiroga, who is among principals involved in the station, wasn’t immediately available for comment. The station will operate under TJBS Inc. Stay tuned.
• Positive Changes Counseling Services has leased Suite 1B at the center. The organization offers mediation, individual and group counseling, court-mandated classes and alcohol/drug evaluations.
• Monitor Medical has leased space at Suite 7-1 at the center. Monitor Medical, which will work with the University of Texas Medical Branch, specializes in the treatment of sleep apnea with continuous positive airway pressure, more commonly known as CPAP, and also Bilevel positive airway pressure, or BiPAP, devices.