Home Latest News Rivertowns Square rolling out cinema, luxury apartments

Rivertowns Square rolling out cinema, luxury apartments

iPic Theaters will open this eight-screen cinema complex and adjacent restaurant on May 5 at Rivertowns Square. Photo by John Golden

Five months after Mrs. Green’s Natural Market announced that it was scrapping plans to open a new store at Rivertowns Square in Dobbs Ferry, one of the site’s developers said he is close to finalizing a deal with a new grocer.
“We have had multiple parties interested, and I would say we are in the very final stages of making a commitment to a third party,” said Corey Rabin, co-developer of Rivertowns Square.

Mrs. Green’s announced in November that along with closing all but five of its stores, the company would not open a new store in the 450,000-square-foot development off the Saw Mill River Parkway in Dobbs Ferry.

Rabin said that the grocer’s worsening financial situation prompted Saber Dobbs Ferry LLC, the joint venture between Rabin’s Dobbs Ferry Capital Partners LLC and developer Martin Berger’s Armonk-based Saber Real Estate Advisors, to terminate its lease with Mrs. Green’s.
“It didn’t take all that long for a new grocery tenant to appear,” he said.

After supply shortages were widely reported at several Mrs. Green’s locations, the subsidiary of Irvington-based Natural Markets Food Group announced in November that CEO Pat Brown would step down. The company also said it would close its locations in Rye, Tarrytown, Manhattan’s West Village and in Fairfield and Stamford. Company officials said Mrs. Green’s plans to focus its business on its stores in Yorktown Heights, Briarcliff, Mount Kisco, Eastchester and Larchmont.

Natural Markets Food Group is owned by Toronto-based equity firm Catalyst Capital Group Inc. Catalyst also operates the Planet Organic and Richtree Natural Market Canadian grocery chains under the Natural Markets Food Group name.

The new grocery tenant will take up the 18,000-square-foot retail space on the 17-acre property originally intended for Mrs. Green’s. Rabin declined to give details about which companies expressed interest in the property but said the site “will be occupied by a fine grocery” store.

“A lot will depend on permitting,” he said of the store’s projected opening date, “but if things go as they usually go, I would say by the end of the summer we’ll have a tenant in place.”

Elsewhere at the nearly completed Dobbs Ferry development, a 580-seat, eight-auditorium commercial multiplex, iPic Theater, is set to open its doors on May 5.

“Everyone is going to be able to enjoy that theater,” Rabin said.

iPic Theaters, which operates similar cinema complexes in New York City and Fort Lee, New Jersey, brands itself as a luxury theater and dining experience and allows guests to choose between two seating options.

Those who pay $19 for a “premium” ticket can sit in regular or lounge seats and purchase food or beverages prior to entering the theater. Guests who opt for the $27 “premium plus” ticket can watch the latest blockbuster in fully reclining leather chairs in their own private viewing pod. The pods feature courtesy pillows, blankets, unlimited popcorn and built-in compartments for guests to stash shoes or bags.

Premium plus ticketholders can also summon “ninja” servers with the push of a button to deliver menu items or handcrafted cocktails directly to their seats during the movie.

iPic founder and CEO Hamid Hashemi said the theater will add to the attraction of the mixed-use development at Rivertowns Square while serving as a destination unto itself.

“People want to know that they are maximizing the experience they’re paying for,” said Hashemi. “At iPic Theaters, every visit is as memorable as the last, thanks to extensive staff training and uncompromising hospitality (that) ensures a comfortable and unique outing, all at a very affordable price.”

Along with the theater, Boca Raton-based iPic will also open a 4,6000-square-foot chef-driven restaurant at Rivertowns Square, City Perch Kitchen and Bar. The restaurant will offer items featuring local ingredients. Hamid said the seasonal, American eatery will mark the company’s largest restaurant concept to date.

Rivertowns Square has seen a number of other companies set up shop in recent months. Both fast-casual restaurant Chopt Creative Salad Co. and beauty supply chain Ulta Beauty held grand openings in January and Chipotle Mexican Grill announced its opening in March.

In April, Lincoln Property Co. began leasing units at the Danforth Apartments, the 202-unit, 277,000-square-foot luxury rental building on the north side of Rivertowns Square.

“There’s been very high demand since we opened,” said John Noone, executive vice president of the northeast region for Lincoln Property. “It’s exceeding our expectations and projections.”

According to the Dallas-based company’s website, rents for one-bedroom apartments begin at $2,700 per month and two-bedrooms start at $3,575.
“Given the high demand for new apartments in lower Westchester County, we expect to be fully leased by the end of the year,” Noone said.

Rabin said The Learning Experience, a children’s day care facility with other locations in Mohegan Lake and Stony Brook, is expected to open sometime this summer.
“At this stage of the game, we have some small spaces that we still have available, but it represents less than 5 percent of the overall space,” Rabin said. “We’ve been very successful in leasing up space.”

Rabin added that he believes Rivertowns Square offers a “great combination of uses.”
“It’s very much an experiential kind of shopping center,” he said. “It’s a little bit like looking to the future of what shopping centers will be, as opposed to the big boxes.”

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