Virtual Reality

Kenwood may lose longtime movie theater, but will gain new 12-screen cinema this summer

Published 12:37 p.m. ET June 4, 2021 | Updated 1:27 p.m. ET June 4, 2021

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The Kenwood Theatre across from the Kenwood Towne Centre may be closing, but a new state-of-the-art cinema with 12 screens is opening on the other side of the mall.

The owner of the Kenwood Place shopping center, where the Kenwood Theatre has operated for more than a decade, wants to revamp the movie house building and another retail building next to it – turning them into modernized spaces for shops, restaurants and offices.

The Sycamore Township Zoning Commission will take up the proposal at a June 14 meeting.

Meanwhile, City Base Cinemas Kenwood will open with extras such as virtual reality rooms and a bar later this summer in The Kenwood Collection. That’s a mixed-use project under development that includes retail and office tenants at 5901 E. Galbraith Road, next to the Kenwood Towne Centre.

Kenwood Place Venture of Sycamore Township, which owns the Kenwood Place shopping center, wants to renovate the first floor of the Kenwood Theatre building at 7835 Kenwood Road into 31,769 square feet of retail and restaurant space and the second floor into 31,769 square feet of office space.

Kenwood Place Venture also wants to make cosmetic upgrades at the single-story building at 7727 Kenwood Road, just south of the theater building, for 17,474 square feet of retail and restaurant space.

That’s according to paperwork filed with Sycamore Township by Midland Atlantic Development Co., also of Sycamore Township, on behalf of Kenwood Place Venture.

Midland Atlantic Development Co. could not be reached for comment about current and future tenants in the buildings at Kenwood Place.

“When we first developed Kenwood Place in 2007, our original vision was a mixed-use project of retail and office. When Drexel Heritage and Henredon (furniture stores) expressed interest for a significant portion of first and second-story space, we pivoted to full retail,” John Silverman, executive manager of Midland Atlantic Development Co., said in a letter to Sycamore Township officials.

“After the tough economic times of 2008/2009, we did our first major renovation and the furniture stores were replaced with the Kenwood Theatre.

‘Time for a refresh’

“After almost 15 years and an ever-evolving (and sometimes challenging) retail landscape, it is time for a refresh. We intend to make a significant investment to return Kenwood Place to our original vision as a mixed-use development of retail and office with an updated modern approach,” Silverman said.

Kenwood Place Venture hopes to begin work on the proposed changes to its shopping center in January 2022 and finish it in June 2022.

“There are some issues that the developer is trying to work out with neighboring residents as it relates to adding windows on the backside of the theater space for an office conversion of that space,” Sycamore Township Trustee Tom Weidman said in an email.

When plans for Kenwood Place were originally approved by the township, he said, they prohibited placing windows on the back of the Kenwood Theatre that would face west toward a residential area.

But now, trees there have matured into a natural buffer, Weidman said.

He said the developer of the Kenwood Place project is working with residents to address their concerns.

“I believe we have done a very good job in the past to make compromises in development that enable both residential and business uses to co-exist successfully,” Weidman said.

“I would hope that we can arrive at a similar outcome with this proposal as well.”

Read or Share this story: https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2021/06/04/city-base-cinemas-announced-thursday-opening-new-movie-theater-virtual-reality-rooms-and-bar-later-s/7513016002/

The Sycamore Township Zoning Commission will take up the proposal at a June 14 meeting.

Source: https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2021/06/04/city-base-cinemas-announced-thursday-opening-new-movie-theater-virtual-reality-rooms-and-bar-later-s/7513016002/

Donovan Larsen

Donovan is a columnist and associate editor at the Dark News. He has written on everything from the politics to diversity issues in the workplace.

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