New owners get in front of possible Camera uses

camera12In two separate deals, Imwalle Properties and real estate investor Gary Dillabough have partnered to acquire the building formerly known as Camera 12 Cinemas and the land it sits on.

Imwalle Properties/Dillabough was the sole bidder at $726,000 for the 39,204 square-foot parcel, which is nine-tenths of an acre, being sold by the Successor Agency to the Redevelopment Agency (SARA). About one-quarter of the land is on the paseo itself, so the building footprint is less than 30,000 feet.

The ground purchase was tied up in a lease until 2075 with rent set at just 2 percent of actual net operating income (NOI). So Imwalle Properties and Dillabough also acquired the ground lease to buy the three-story, 70,330-square-foot building at 201 S. Second St. from Forest City Realty Trust. “The value is in the lease we purchased from Forest City,” said Don Imwalle. “Owning the ground will add flexibility and clean up several potential issues.”

The cost of the lease was not disclosed.

Camera 12 closed in September 2016 due to increased utility costs and maintenance of an aging building with an atrium and extra-long escalators. It opened in 1996 as an eight-screen United Artists Pavilion. UA suddenly withdrew in 2000 and the building remained empty for four years until Camera Cinemas took over, expanding the cineplex to 12 screens.

Imwalle said that the cost to rehabilitate the building could amount to $7 million or more. Current thinking is that the critical mass of residents the Camera Cinemas banked on is finally coming to fruition, and that the entertainment use for the location may now be more appropriate.

“We are still looking at entertainment uses and have been pleased with the interest,” Imwalle said. “At this point we don’t know if it will be a single larger use or a myriad of interests.”

Media reports about the acquisition generated interest from parties that have considered the building before, Imwalle added.

“It has been insightful to connect and learn more of the back story and what others have envisioned for the building,” he said.

Before agreeing to team up, both Imwalle Properties and Dillabough had been working independently to buy the ground lease.

Local brokers Nick Goddard of Colliers International, who represented Imwalle, and Mark Ritchie of Ritchie Commercial, who represented Dillabough, helped put the deal together.