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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

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Abandoned Studio Movie Grill property in Citrus Heights has new owner


Studio Movie Grill
Construction work on a new Studio Movie Grill at 8501 Auburn Blvd. stalled last year. // M. Hazlip

By Mike Hazlip—
A partially renovated 55,000-square-foot building on Auburn Boulevard that was abandoned by Studio Movie Grill last year has been sold to an Arizona-based real estate investment company.

City Economic Development Manager Meghan Huber shared the news about the property during an Auburn Boulevard Business Association meeting on Tuesday, identifying the new owner as STORE Capital. She said the city is “actively working with them on a business attraction strategy.”

An email to a company representative on Thursday was not returned by press deadline on Saturday, but Huber described the new owners as “responsive” and said the company specializes in large box retail.

STORE is an acronym for Single Tenant Operational Real Estate. According to the company’s website, STORE focuses on long-term investing, with purchases made in cash and properties turned around for leasing to tenants.

Plans for the former Studio Movie Grill at 8501 Auburn Blvd. fell through last year. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy amid the coronavirus pandemic, which shuttered theaters nationwide, and in January the Texas-based theater chain confirmed it had backed out of plans for a Citrus Heights location.

The city has had its eyes on revitalizing the shopping center and Auburn Boulevard as a whole, with big hopes initially that Studio Movie Grill would be a catalyst for helping make that happen. While a future tenant to occupy the site is unknown, the shopping plaza has seen some recent new tenants. A nail salon opened last month, as well as a new cafe.

Plans for a $22 million second phase of roadway improvements on Auburn Boulevard are in the works, along with an archway crossing over the boulevard at the northern end of the city. Construction was anticipated to begin in 2021, but that date has since been pushed back.

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