$21 million entertainment complex with bowling, food, movies and music will keep Downtown Abacoa hopping, say supporters of the plan.
“(The entertainment center) will bring more life and vitality into Downtown Abacoa,” said Scott Hedge, the project manager for Cinebowl-Grille & IMAX.
Now a grass field across from Roger Dean Stadium, the lot has been vacant since 2006 when the 16-screen Crown Theater with 3,700 seats closed. Demolition came four years later.
Attracting family orientated businesses and customers is what the live/work/play development needs to continue polishing its image, said Josh Simon, a principal with FLF ATC LLC, owners of Downtown Abacoa.
Hedge hopes to begin construction near the end of the year with a completion target date of late 2018, hopefully by Thanksgiving weekend.
Simon’s Jupiter-based company in 2015 paid $5.1 million for 93,000 square feet of Abacoa commercial property. Bakeries, children’s art studios, clothing stores, restaurants and coffee shops have moved in as Simon says downtown Abacoa shakes its image of a rowdy arena for late-night drinking.
The town reduced the hours bars can stay open several years ago and security was increased. A mini-golf course was approved at the northeast corner of Main Street and Chancellor Drive.
New landscaping was just completed on Main Street around the front of the CopaCabana Cuban Cuisine restaurant. More landscaping and other improvements are planned along Town Center Drive, near Jumby Bay Island Grill restaurant.
“(Cinebowl) will add to the family-friendly/entertainment atmosphere we are seeking,” said Simon.
The Cinebowl design calls for 20 bowling lanes and restaurants with indoor and outdoor seating. A dozen movie theaters with 1,035 reclining seats, including an IMAX, are planned.
There’ll be billiards and an arcade, according to the plans submitted by Frank Entertainment Companies (FEC) and Rendina Cos., both based in Jupiter.
FEC operates about 30 locations, including about 300 screens and 150 bowling lanes in 11 states. Locally, FEC operates Revolutions in CityPlace and a CineBowl at Delray Marketplace at Atlantic Avenue and Lyons Road.
Skateboarders and loitering outside the former Crown Theater in Abacoa was a common complaint from nearby merchants before the theater closed. The owners say that won’t happen again.
“The facility will trespass any violators and ban them for life if they are trespassed,” according to the proposal.
FEC’s goal is to “redevelop the site into a world-class entertainment venue and bring back the missing anchor Abacoa and its residents have been living without for far too long,” according to the proposal submitted to the town on March 14.
Parking, however, could be an issue for Cinebowl.
Cinebowl patrons will use the 1,000-space parking garage owned by Abacoa Town Center, which is used by baseball fans. The garage is next to the 130-room Marriott across from Roger Dean Stadium.
The Cinebowl plan includes about new surface parking spaces on new lots on Parkside Drive and University Boulevard. Additional onstreet parking is planned adjacent to Cinebowl. That will add up to about 80 new parking spaces.
The parking agreement between Abacoa Town Center and Palm Beach County, which owns and leases Roger Dean Stadium to the St. Louis Cardinals and Florida Marlins, requires sufficient shared parking for all Town Center properties. There also must be at least 2,020 additional parking spaces for Roger Dean Stadium during spring training.
Cinebowl officials say there is enough parking for their project. Simon agrees.
Many visitors to spring training and Abacoa are not aware of the many other parking garages in Abacoa, said Simon, who added that new signs have been installed for motorists to find the additional parking.
“Even at the busiest spring training games, there is enough parking. We just have to show people where the parking is,” said Simon.
Cinebowl originally was proposed three years ago in Abacoa but no progress was made. The plan was submitted again this past fall. The town returned it to developers after determining the plan did not meet the town’s requirements. This is the latest plan.
Cinebowl-Grille & IMAX by the numbers:
2: Building stories.
12: Movie screens.
20: Bowling lanes.
200: Employees expected to be hired.
275: Total Imax seats.
1,035: Total movie seats, all reclining.
10,974: Square feet of restaurant, including outdoor seating.
15,120: Square feet for bowling lanes, billiards, arcade.
44,330: Square feet of theater.
76,000: Square feet of entire project.
$21 million: Projected project cost.
The next steps
- May 9: Plan goes to Jupiter Planning and Zoning Commission for review.
- Date not determined: Plan goes to Jupiter town council for vote.
- Fall 2017: Construction expected to start.
- Thanksgiving 2018: Opening.
To read more, please visit: http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/news/local/long-vacant-abacoa...