Another step in the ongoing saga surrounding the future of Brooklyn Heights Cinema: the building’s landlord has placed the building on the market for $30,000/month rent, or $7.5 million for sale.
The move is likely a retaliatory one, after landlord Tom Caruana was yet again rebuffed by the Landmarks Preservation Commission over his plans to construct “intensely preservation-minded” residential units on top of the building (these plans would also allow the movie theater to stay put). Reportedly, the LPC rejected the project without a vote.
According to the theater’s owner Kenn Lowy, though, Caruana is still hoping to make the development work, and they’re currently seeking out temporary spaces for the theater if it has to move for construction. Lowy also released the following statement:
“To all our supporters:
The short version –
We’re not going anywhere yet!
The longer version –
The landlord has become increasingly frustrated because he cannot get his planned development approved by the city’s Landmark Preservation Commission. This is a plan that we wholeheartedly support. The plan includes the cinema.
Because of this he has decided to leave all of his options open, which includes selling the building and possibly leasing it to someone else at four times the rent we are paying. He has not given up trying to get a plan approved by the Landmark Preservation Commission (all options open). And we are still in that plan.
So the bottom line is that we are still here. But we can only continue with your support. If the landlord sees that the cinema is no longer viable, he could ask us to leave. He has told us we can stay until he is ready to move forward. It is important for everyone to understand that our landlord has been very supportive of the cinema.
Thanks for your continued support!”
So, looks like all of this is still very much up in the air. While they figure this out, though, no time like the present to catch a movie in Brooklyn Heights and lend these guys a little extra support.
Follow Virginia K. Smith on Twitter @vksmith.