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New AMC Theaters at MetroPark has opening delayed again

August 23, 2018

The MetroPark Square development is moving along in Shenandoah, albeit slowly.

The Shenandoah City Council on Wednesday night approved another special use permit extension for the announced AMC theater at the soon-to-be-opened shopping and entertainment center, which is being developed by the Sam Moon Group.

Originally planned as Shenandoah’s first movie theater, the 41,500 square foot, 10-screen multiplex was initially slated to anchor MetroPark, and was set to open in November 2017. The opening was then delayed to May 2018.

In a mid-August letter to members of the city council requesting the extension, John McDonald, AMC’s executive vice president of U.S. operations, said the Moon group is still developing the property and the chain is unable to move in by the time the current SUP expires in September.

“It is expected that the developer will turn over the property to AMC in January 2019,” the letter read. “AMC then will install its (furniture, fixtures and equipment) and expects to have a soft opening of the theater in March 2019.”

The 70-acre MetroPark Square development was announced in 2017 as a lifestyle center, complete with dining, shopping and entertainment centered around a green space. Also in the works, said Shenandoah Communications Manager Debbie Pilcher, are three hotels that the developer committed to on the site, including an unconfirmed Hyatt House location.

The opening of a 40,000 square foot junior anchor business, a Dave & Busters, has also been postponed and will likely open in the summer of 2019. A 324-unit apartment complex, called The Residences at MetroPark, is slated to join the retail outlets in a later phase of development.

Shenandoah Community Development Manager Jackie Thompson said the delay is most likely due to missing access points to the site and a yet-to-be-built parking structure on the site that would accommodate the growing number of visitors once all of the vacant sites are occupied. The segmented opening of MetroPark’s second phase is likely to begin in the summer of 2019, after the structure is built and after the Texas Department of Transportation’s access point approval is completed.

“The way their zoning is structured is that they’ve got this phase development,” Thompson said in an interview Thursday. “We knew going into this that there was no way we could set locations, set parcel lines or set use lines in (2016) when development may not happen until three or four years down the road.”

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