Sparks Redevelopment Agency and City Council members discussed the fate of the parking structure next to the now-closed Cinemark Century 14 Theatre in Victorian Square at their meeting Monday.
Back in 1996, Syufy Enterprises bought the land at market value from the Sparks Redevelopment Agency and then leased it to Cinemark Holdings for a movie theatre and 700-stall parking structure. In the agreement, the parking structure is free to better serve the theatre’s patrons.
But now that the theatre is closed (shutting its doors at the end of September), there have been questions as to what will happen to the property…and the parking structure. The city could charge money for parking in the structure for big events like the Rib Cook-off, Hot August Nights, and other premiere celebrations.
Since the theatre is now closed, the Sparks Redevelopment Agency/City Council meeting members discussed what would happen to the Cinemark Holdings non-renewed lease. City councilman Ed Lawson asked if that property could host any other type of business besides a movie theater, but since it was built at set up for that single-use purpose then it continuing to operate as a movie theatre is its best bet.
In a unanimous vote, the council decided to terminate the agreement if a movie theatre operator doesn’t move into the location by the end of 2017 (which would give the parking structure back to the city). If the property was still acting as a movie theatre, the agreement to keep the parking structure free for movie-going patrons would hold through the year 2040.
Andrew McCullough of Syufy Enterprises Business Affairs said that they have no idea why Cinemark Holdings didn’t elect to renew its lease, but they are in discussions in trying to get another theatre operator in the Victorian Square Sparks location.
“In essence we approve of the agreement originally in place by Cinemark; as of now the concept remains intact of keeping it a cinema and a parking lot remaining free for patrons,” McCullough added.
It would definitely be in Syufy Enterprises’ best interest to get a theatre operator in there as soon as possible and the vote by the City Council will most likely expedite the progression towards finding a solution.
“This is a very important first step in the process,” McCullough said of the City Council vote.
A Public Hearing was also held regarding the approval for a boundary line adjustment between properties owned by the City of Sparks and Sparks Redevelopment Agency for the development of the Bridges project. The City Council unanimously approved to release the parking garage back to the Redevelopment Agency.