Plans for a $150 million mixed-use retail and office complex on the Commencement Bay waterfront took more specific shape today as a Texas-based cinema company announced plans for a nine-screen multiplex at the center of the development.
The new cinema will be the first new theater complex built in Tacoma in more than two decades. Meanwhile, the city has had several existing theaters close. One, the Lincoln Plaza, was converted with a fitness center. Another, the Tacoma Mall Twin, was demolished and replaced by a Krispy Kreme doughnut shop. A third, the Central, was converted into a church.
Cinemark Holdings Inc., a Plano, Texas, multi-media company, that already owns theaters under its Century brand in Federal Way and Olympia, said it is beginning architectural designing and planning for the new theater. The theater is scheduled to open in 2014.
The new theater will be equipped with digital projection systems and 3-D projection capabilities.
In announcing the theater plans, Point Ruston development manager Mike Cohen also revealed more details of the planned lifestyle shopping center including its name, the Waterwalk at Point Ruston.
The Waterwalk, he said, will include not only the theater, but also some 250,000 square feet of space. Among the tenants, he said, will be four high-end restaurants, cafes and bistros and a wine bar along with retail shops. Cohen said the center’s plans also call for a 30,000-square-foot organic grocery. No other specific tenants were announced Wednesday.
The theater’s announcement comes in addition to a commitment from Seattle’s Silver Cloud Hotels and Inns to build a 175-room property at the Point Ruston site. The hotel chain made that commitment four years ago, but construction has not yet begun.
Cohen said the opening of both the hotel and the cinema will be timed to coincide with the grand opening for the entire retail and office complex some two years from now.
Point Ruston’s build-out has been slowed considerably by the tepid economy. Cohen began construction several years ago of the first condominium in the project, but halted it at the garage level when the housing market collapsed. Construction on that building has resumed with completion set for summer for the 217-unit building.
Likewise, construction of the development’s infrastructure has moved slowly, but the development’s new central roadway is due to open in April 21 with a Ruston Way 5K race.
A public esplanade along the water is due to open by year’s end said the developer.
Point Ruston’s 97-acre site is the former site of the Asarco copper smelter. That smelter closed in the mid-’80s. Part of the site is within the town of Ruston, the remainder is in Tacoma.