In September 2010, Clearview Cinemas pulled out of Soundview Marketplace. By January 2011, the 183,400-square-foot property shopping center was in foreclosure.
Soundview Marketplace is a property of Armstrong Realty Management. According to Port Washington North Mayor Bob Weitzner, the foreclosure is based on a default on repaying a $21 million debt.
Weitzner said he hopes the foreclosure process will move quickly and get resolved, so that the shopping center can move forward and attract viable businesses into the Port Washington area.
“The lenders of the current owner forced the foreclosure and a receiver will be chosen to manage the property until either the owner resolves the foreclosure or the notes are sold to someone else,” he said.
Reaction from tenants in the Marketplace was mixed.
Take Mike Liu, who owns .
“I have heard about the foreclosure, but since the theater left, my business went down by 40 percent,” Liu said.
Still Liu is staying put.
“I am here since 1989 and I am planning to stay," he said. "Where else will I go? I hope another movie theater comes in. The landlord keeps saying he is working on the empty space.”
and declined comment when asked if they planned to stay or leave. However, Sajid Javid, owner of said he has been there for 11 years and fortunately, for him, business is booming.
“The foreclosure is not affecting my business, although I hope everything is resolved soon,” Javid said. “I heard Staples might be coming here soon and Tuesday Morning, a discounted home accessory store, just opened their doors.”
According to Weitzner, however, Staples had expressed interest in Soundview about four years ago, although "nothing recently has come up."
Benjamin Ringel, president and CEO of and one of the property’s landlord said that as far as he knows all the businesses are staying, including HSBC bank and King Kullen.
“The Clearview Movie Theater was supposed to stay, but they said there were problems with the parking conditions at the Marketplace," Ringel said.
"Hopefully we will get another movie theater to take its place, but myself and the other property owners are not sure yet. All the other businesses are staying.”
Weitzner said there is another reason why the theater left. When it came time for lease renewal, there were talks to negotiate a lower rent, but the offered amount was not low enough to entice Clearview to stay.
When asked about the reason for leaving the marketplace, a Clearview spokeswoman said, "Clearview Cinemas is privileged to have served moviegoers at the Soundview Cinemas for more than 12 years, and are honored to continue serving the local community through our nearby Port Washington Cinemas on Main Street."
When asked about the future of the Marketplace, Weitzner had this to say.
“We have been working with the present owners to improve the shopping center and make sure they continue to maintain it," Weitzner said. "We also welcome any new businesses that wish to come into Soundview Marketplace.”
Weitzner put no stock into word on the street that some other entity might replace the Marketplace.
“Nothing is being torn down, unless someone wants to build a new shopping center," Weitzner said. "That's what it's zoned for, and that's the way it will stay.”
This article was updated to clarify the reason for Clearview Cinema's departure.