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ROCKFORD, IL-American Theatre Corp. has signed a lease for 38,847 sf at Riverside Pavilion retail center, 5875 E. Riverside Blvd., here. The value of the lease is $22 million during a 20-year period.

American will open a Village Grille movie theater at the retail center and will be the major anchor tenant. “This is taking a huge amount of space that right now is sitting vacant,” says Kathy Groob, a VP with center owner Paul Hemmer Cos.

Village Grille will be one of an increasingly number of theaters in the Chicagoland area which are catering towards an adult movie-going crowd. Village Green will have seven screens with cabaret-style seating and tables serving dinner entrees, appetizers, deserts in addition to beverages such as beer and wine. The theater is expected to open in the spring of 2009.

American Theatre Corp., headquartered in Atlanta, was founded in 2002 and has theaters in 12 states, including Colorado, Virginia, Florida and Pennsylvania. The Village Grille at Riverside Pavilion will be the company’s first Illinois location. “They are looking for high-growth areas,” Groob says. “Our property was very competitive because of the very high-density areas.”

The 87,000-sf retail center, which was originally constructed in 1994, is being redeveloped by Cincinnati-headquartered Paul Hemmer Cos., which acquired the property in April 2007. When Hemmer acquired the retail center, 57,000 sf of the retail center was vacant, Groob says. Eagle had operated a grocery store in the retail center which had closed several years before.

Ace Hardware opened late summer 2007 as an anchor store in the center, Groob says. “They are a good customer of ours and we have done stores for them all over the country,” she says. Hemmer renovated the center with upgrading the façade and turning the vacated grocery store into multi-tenant space. The center is currently 97% leased with only 2,600 sf available, she says. Other tenants include Cardinal Fitness, Island Tan, Domino’s Pizza, Hallmark, Moto Photo, ADT, Concord Custom Cleaners, Great Clips and Weight Watchers. The asking lease rate for the available space is between $16 per sf to $22 per sf, Groob says.

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