POSTED: Thursday, May 16, 2013 - 10:26pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 6:01pm
El Paso, TEXAS (KTSM) — The sign is still up for what was supposed to be the new Carmike Cinemas on Justice and Montana in far East El Paso.
The company has canceled the project, saying the infrastructure, like sewer and water utilities, needed would take too long to build. Carmike Cinemas broke ground last November on what would have been a brand new 13 screen theater. City officials were confident that the movie theater would thrive. The lot sat empty for months and then Carmike called the whole thing off.
City representative Doctor Michiel Noe says while he is disappointed but he knows it was a business decision.
"It was going to be a really cool theater. It was gonna have the biggest screen in El Paso, there were quite a few people looking forward to seeing it open," said Noe. “There were problems getting the utilities to fit their timeline, it just wouldn't work out.”
The owners and developers of the land, Anthony Properties say it was a larger issue at hand, not just the land the theater would sit on. They were also trying to add sewage and water lines to the rest of 232 acre development.
"They did not want to design in a peacemeal fashion. They didn't really want one user coming in you know, saying I really need enough utilities to supply enough bathrooms. What they wanted was a long term solution for the entire property," said Frank Nuchereno with Anthony Properties, the owner of the land.
El Paso Water Utilities responded saying it was not a timing issue, nor was the problem with Carmike.
In a statement EPWU said:
“El Paso Water Utilities put in many overtime hours and expedited design work for Anthony Properties in order to meet their deadline for the Carmike Project and delivered a final development agreement package on February 4 2013,” said Christina Montoya with EPWU.
EPWU said Anthony Properties never signed the contract. While Doctor Noe is disappointed Carmike's plans have crumbled, there is a new Cinemark theater being built just down the street.
As for Carmike, it's plans now are unknown, but Noe says a theater may be coming to a neighborhood near you.
"They (Carmike) didn't really want to elaborate on their future plans because of competition and everything, but they certainly had nothing but nice things to say about El Paso. They love El Paso," said Noe.
NewsChannel Nine did reach out to Carmike Cinemas, the company that ultimately pulled the plug on the project, but have yet to reach them.