$12M luxury cinema, 2 restaurants in works at Austin Landing

A Mexican-based luxury cinema company plans to open its first Midwest multiplex at a site attached to two proposed full-scale restaurants at Austin Landing.

The Cinépolis USA theater — estimated to cost “north of $12 million” — will bring up to 100 full- and part-time jobs to the 142-acre complex that now employs more than 2,000, Austin Landing’s developer announced Thursday.

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The 12-screen, 52,750-square-foot cinema is the proposal’s main attraction and the latest in a series of projects whose combined costs are expected to top $50 million this year, said Bo Gunlock, president of RG Properties.

“We’re absolutely ecstatic. This is something we’ve been working on for a very long time,” he said, noting that Cinépolis offers “the best equipment for sound and vision that’s available.

“We’ve targeted an entertainment component for Austin Landing like this really from the beginning,” Gunlock added. “What we’ve been able to attract … is a very upscale experience.”

He said the project, which he hopes to have completed by fall 2016, will also enhance the Dayton-Cincinnati metroplex concept and draw customers in a similar fashion that marketing analysts said Field & Stream would when it opened last October.

“Austin Landing is a big bridge between the two,” Gunlock said. “So we fully expect that this will draw heavily from the south. We’re already getting a lot of customers, employees from Warren, Butler and beyond counties in drawing people up this way.”

Gunlock said the proposal will be a "natural fit" with Ohio's outdoor drinking district plan should Miami Twp. opt to adopt it.

“There’s a process that we’re still working through and that’s really Miami Twp.’s decision,” he said. “I think everybody’s being cautious about that and that it’s being done correctly.”

The multiplex and restaurants are proposed for about 4 acres north of Field & Stream on Austin Landing’s western portion. The theater will employ 75 to 100 full- and part-time workers and feature 1,560 seats, with an expanded concession area offering “gourmet snacks” as well as beer, wine and signature cocktails, officials said.

Before making the deal with Cinépolis, Gunlock said he traveled to Mexico City “to get an experience and really see what they do. It’s unique to our market … The cinema experience itself is different from what we have.”

Construction on each of the adjoining full-service restaurants is expected to cost more than $1 million. A patio area will front Austin Landing’s park and help promote more night life, Gunlock said.

Gunlock said he has letters on intent from two restaurants and they will be announced when those deals are secured.

Cinépolis USA is a subsidiary of Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas, a Mexican company formed in the early 1970s. It has seven cinemas in California and three in Florida with a fourth expected to open next week, said MJ Salcido of Murphy O’Brien Public Relations, which works with the company.

It also has announced locations in Connecticut, Dallas and Virginia, she said. The company touts itself as offering “cutting-edge sound and projection technology” with a goal “to pamper our guests in an intimate and comfortable environment,” according to its website.

Cinépolis USA Vice President of Real Estate Neil Baron said in an issued statement that his company looks forward to bringing its “cinematic experience” to this area.

Plans for the cinema and restaurants are expected to be submitted to Miami Twp. next week with construction starting by this fall, Gunlock said.

“It’s really important that we get under construction in late summer or early fall and to get the building under roof so we can work through the winter,” he said.

Approval of the plans would signify more construction at the rapidly developing complex.

Ground is expected to break on The Flats at Austin Landing — a $30-plus million, 274-unit upscale apartment complex — in the next few weeks, Gunlock said. Meanwhile, Progress Park Tower, a five-story building estimated to cost $15 million, is targeted to open this fall.

Last month, RG Properties announced a second hotel to join The Hilton Garden Inn at Austin Landing. Plans for the 108-room Staybridge Suites, a $12 million project, are expected to go before Miami Twp.'s Zoning Commission next month, Gunlock said.

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