Carmike Switches Sides (Of Rt. 100) To Upland Square

POTTSTOWN PA – Carmike Cinemas apparently will move ahead with plans to build a new multi-screen cineplex on Route 100 north of the borough of Pottstown, but it’s going into the existing Upland Square shopping center – and not the Commerce Corner center proposed across the highway – according to an announcement Wednesday (Jan. 12, 2011) from the real estate brokerage for Upland Square.

Adam Kohler, a representative for Plymouth Meeting PA-based Fameco Real Estate LLP, told the Philadelphia Business Journal that Carmike had agreed to build a 46,000-square-foot theater and become an additional anchor tenant at Upland Square, on the west side of Route 100 and Upland Square Drive in West Pottsgrove (PA) Township. Fameco and Cedar Shopping Centers of Port Washington NY are co-investors in Upland Square.

The Carmike project for several months last year (2010) had been a much-discussed feature of Commerce Corner as promoted by its developer, Diamond Real Estate Development LLC. Commerce Corner is proposed to be built on the east side of Route 100 at State Street in Upper Pottsgrove Township, diagonally opposite Upland Square.

It is unknown how, if at all, Fameco’s just-announced deal with Carmike affects Commerce Corner. When Commerce Corner was reviewed during February 2010 by the Upper Pottsgrove Planning Commission, it was reported that only Carmike had signed a contract with Diamond to be a prospective tenant in its $32 million, 186,000-square-foot complex.

Carmike currently operates a eight-screen theater on Route 100 in North Coventry Township, south of the borough and across from Coventry Mall. At Commerce Corner the company had proposed a 14-screen theater. The Business Journal story did not specify the number of screens to be included at Upland Square.

Construction of the new project is expected to start in March, with an opening planned for the fall. Kohler told the Business Journal that Carmike’s is the first multiplex deal in this region in recent memory. “Theater deals are few and far between,” he reportedly said. Carmike, which is based in Georgia, operates 240 theaters across the country.

No press releases about the Carmike announcement were available Thursday (Jan. 13) at the websites of Carmike, Fameco, or Cedar.

Upland Square’s anchor tenants currently include Target, Giant Foods, Best Buy, and L.A. Fitness.