Village Shopping Center changes hands; former Cinema 150 coming down | Arkansas Blog

Village Shopping Center changes hands; former Cinema 150 coming down

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DEMOLITION PLANNED: Round building that once housed Cinema 150 is coming down.
  • DEMOLITION PLANNED: Round building that once housed Cinema 150 is coming down.

The Village Shopping Center has been sold and plans to revitalize the property include demolition of the landmark round building that once housed Cinema 150.

Hank Kelley of Flake and Kelley, which brokered the deal and has taken over center management, said MacArthur Investments LLC purchased the property from Greater Missouri Builders in December. His firm is at work on lining up new tenants and getting started on a "healing process" for the property. This includes new lighting, taking steps to end the use of the property for a homeless camp and other improvements. The sale price wasn't disclosed. I couldn't check the deed this morning because of a glitch in the clerk's website.

A demolition permit was been issued for the vacant Cinema 150, one of what was once a chain of huge theaters with massive curved screens and tiered seating. It closed some 11 20 years ago. It has been used sporadically as an entertainment venue.

Now, Kelley said, the vacant building  serves as an obstacle to a street view of the center. 

The Village, one of the state's first shopping center, was built in the early 1960s at what was then Asher (it now becomes Col. Glenn at the University intersection), a major U.S. highway junction  that had one of the state's highest traffic counts. Interstate highways were among the changes that brought a decline in the area.

Kelley said the center's 153,000 square feet of buildings are about 50 percent leased, with tenants that include a clothing store, a rental business and an Asian restaurant and grocery store.

He said his firm has a signed lease for 15,600 square feet of retail space that is currently being remodeled and a letter of intent on another 16,8000 square feet.

He said potential tenants are encouraged by UALR developments in the neighborhood. It has moved into much of a former shopping center on the south side of Col. Glenn and its track and soccer facility adjoins the center on land donated to the school by the former owner of the Village.

Kelley said he was confident that plans in the works will make the intersection "a brighter spot."

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