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BETHLEHEM TWP., PA-In its first foray into Pennsylvania, Fort Lauderdale, FL-based Muvico will drop anchor at Summit Lehigh Valley, a $500-million mixed-use complex being jointly developed by Forest City Enterprises and Bayer Properties Inc. Called Muvico Valley 20, it is a 92,000-sf, 4,200-seat theater with 20 screens.

“Muvico adds an upscale, entertainment element to the tenant mix, serving as a centerpiece for the village environment we’re creating,” says Brian Ratner, VP of east coast development for Cleveland-based Forest City. Summit Lehigh is under development at Route 33 and Freemansburg Avenue. It will contain an estimated 950,000 sf of retail and between 500,000 sf and 700,000 sf of office space along with a residential component and the St. Luke’s hospital complex, Ratner tells GlobeSt.com. He confirms the estimated $500-million construction cost for the commercial sector alone.

“Permits are being obtained,” Ratner says, “and the [shopping center] opening is planned for spring 2007.” He declined to confirm that the retail component will also include Target, Best Buy and BF Chang’s China Bistro, all of which are listed on the website of Birmingham, AL-based Bayer. “We’ll let tenants disclose their plans,” Ratner says, adding, “we’re in good negotiations with prospective tenants.” Approximately 800 single-family and multifamily units will border Summit Lehigh Valley. At an estimated construction cost in excess of $40 million, the St. Luke’s medical campus will occupy 180 acres with a 300,000-sf facility at its core.

Muvico currently operates 12 theaters in Florida, Maryland and Tennessee and has additional ones under development. Typically, Muvico theaters provide valet parking, a children’s playroom, and a concessions menu of pizza, chicken breasts and other hot meals.

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