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Showplace Movie Theater May Not Show Face at The Yards Development

by Nena Perry-Brown

Forest City Files for Extension for Construction of a Movie Theater at The Yards: Figure 1
Rendering of the Showplace Icon movie theater.

A year ago, the Forest City-led development team behind The Yards filed a one-year time extension for the portion of a planned-unit development (PUD) that would deliver a 16-screen movie theater. Now, plans for that movie theater may change in a big way.

The developers have applied for another two-year extension citing, among other things, the loss of partner Showplace Icon as the planned movie theater operator. As originally approved in 2014, the PUD would create four city blocks' worth of development at First Street and N Place SE (map), delivering 600 residential units, an expanded Diamond Teague Park, 35,000-50,000 square feet of retail, and 331 parking spaces in addition to the movie theater.

In the extension request, Forest City states that design and permitting has been held up by construction of the new DC Water headquarters, which uses the parcel (F-1) as a staging area. Also, a lease agreement with Showplace Icon expired even before a time extension was granted last year. While Forest City remained optimistic at the time that an agreement could be made to retain the operator, that no longer seems to be the case.

"Despite efforts to reconstitute that deal, it is clear that Forest City will not be able to proceed with the original approved program for a two-level, 16-screen theater above a four-level parking garage," the application states.

While it may not have 16 screens, the developer does seem to be interested in bringing a movie theater to the site, albeit perhaps a smaller one that is more compatible with the current market. Also, while the plan is still for a 100 foot-tall rectangular building, the design and configuration may end up being quite different. 

If the time extension is granted, the development team would have until February 2021 to file for building permits. The ANC 6D voted to support the time extension last month. A Zoning Commission hearing has not yet been scheduled.

See other articles related to: zoning commission, the yards dc, the yards, forest city

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/showplace-may-not-show-face-at-the-yards-development/14852

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