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Emagine scraps plans for Roseville location

November 29, 2013

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Emagine Entertainment had announced plans earlier this year to turn the old Kmart property on 13 Mile Road into a new movie theater, but those plans have been shelved due to an increase in projected costs, Emagine CEO Paul Glantz said.

ROSEVILLE — Plans to put an Emagine Theatre in Roseville hit a dead end, as the company decided not to move forward with its proposed multimillion-dollar plans at 13 Mile Road and Little Mack Avenue.

Roseville City Manager Scott Adkins said he received a phone call from Emagine CEO Paul Glantz in late August informing Adkins that the project was not economically feasible and that the company would be withdrawing its proposal.

“We really don’t know what their decision process was,” Adkins said. “He said the project was off the table and that there was nothing the city had done or had not done to take the project off the table.”

Glantz said as Emagine Entertainment updated the cost of the project, they found that it was high in relation to the money they could make and the risk.

“As we refined the cost, relative to the market opportunity, we concluded that the risk-return parameter didn’t work for us,” Glantz said.

Adkins said the city, Macomb County and the Macomb County Economic Development Corporation had all offered assistance on the project, but it did not work out. Nevertheless, he said the offer still stands for Emagine, if the company changes its mind and decides to move forward on the property anyway.

“It was disappointing for us to hear that, but we’re resilient,” Adkins said. “We will be pursuing other options.”

The city still has a commercial rehabilitation district in place at the Kmart building, which locks in the property tax rate at its August 2012 rate for 10 years. Adkins said that is a “key piece” in marketing the property to potential developers and that the city has a few possibilities floating around.

The plan, announced initially in July, was expected to cost $20 million to tear down the Kmart building and construct a new building to house what was anticipated to be the largest movie screen in the state.

“It’s going to be 84 feet wide and over 50 feet tall,” Glantz said in July. “This will be larger than the Imax screen at the Henry Ford. Typical theater screens vary in size, but they are usually 30-60 feet wide; this is adding 30 percent onto that.”

Factors the company looks for in developing new properties include the capital used — including the land cost — and the current local market conditions, he said. Glantz added that the company is still looking to open a theater in Macomb County, but it has not solidified on any site to the point where he was willing to comment.

About the author

Staff Writer Kevin Bunch covers the communities of Eastpointe and Roseville, as well as Roseville Community Schools and East Detroit Public Schools. He has worked at C&G Newspapers since 2013, and is a graduate of Wayne State University and Henry Ford Community College. Kevin is also a 2015 Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting alumni.

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