BY JAMES FARRELL
A new development in Downtown Flushing at 133-15 39th Ave. will include a movie theater as part of its retail section, marking the first time in 30 years that Flushing will have a movie theater, reports say.
The mixed-used project, called Tangram, is being led by development companies F&T Group and SCG America. Construction is under way at the site, which will include 1.2 million square feet of office, residential and hotel space, including a 225,000-square-foot, two-story retail podium, the development companies announced on Dec. 1. The movie theater would be a part of this retail space.
The theater is anticipated to be 34,000 square feet with six to eight screens and seating for 500 to 800, according to a report from Commercial Observer. It will be the first movie theater in Flushing since the historic RKO Keith’s theater closed down in 1986.
Commercial Observer also reported that SCG Retail, the company handling the retail aspect of the project, is looking into an “experiential” theater that could include luxury dining.
As the Queens Tribune reported back in August, the RKO Keith’s has had a long, complicated history of stalled development, with many calling for the theater to be revived as a cultural arts center or a movie theater again. But that property, with its famously ornate landmarked lobby, was purchased by Xinyuan Real Estate on Aug. 1. Plans at the site, which have been approved since March 2015, call for 269 condos to be built around the lobby.
Currently, the nearest movie theater that Flushing residents use is the College Point Multiplex Cinemas in Whitestone, according to Commercial Observer.
In addition to the movie theater, the property’s retail section will function as a “year-round lifestyle destination” featuring high-end international and domestic fashion brands, themed restaurants, a culinary food hall, a beer garden and a number of entertainment options. This retail sector is expected to be the first element to be delivered, with a projected opening in the third quarter of 2018.
“Flushing is ready for Tangram,” said Geoffrey Bailey of SCG Retail in a statement. “The demographic shift in Flushing is more dramatic than anywhere in the five boroughs, and its existing retail and entertainment options have not evolved to meet the needs of this demographic. From this perspective, Tangram checks all the boxes. It’s a transformative project that will provide unique options under one roof for all the Greater Flushing area to enjoy.”
Outside of the retail space, the project is expected to yield 300 luxury condo units and 80,000 square feet of office space and a hotel, according to The Real Deal.
The F&T Group is also behind the huge development project in downtown Flushing known as the Flushing Commons project.
Reach James Farrell at (718) 357-7400 x 127, firstname.lastname@example.org or @farrellj329.
Update: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that SCG Retail was part of SCG America. SCG Retail is the Shopping Center Group, which is handling the project’s retail. SCG America is the Shanghai Construction Group, the co-developer of the project.