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Landmark Sunshine Cinema Sold to Developers for Retail Conversion

 A rendering showing retail at the former Sunshine Cinema property.
A rendering showing retail at the former Sunshine Cinema property.
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East End Capital

LOWER EAST SIDE — The Landmark Sunshine Cinema has been sold to a pair of developers planning to convert the property into a combined retail and office space, one of the buyers confirmed.

East End Capital and K Property Group on Wednesday closed on the deal to buy the theater at 139 E. Houston St., which is expected to shutter when its lease expires at the end of January, according to Adam Pogoda, the vice president of East End Capital.

Property owner Steven Goldman of S&G Houston Realty Corp. sold the building for $31.5 million, according to the New York Post, which first reported the sale. Pogoda refused to confirm the figure to DNAinfo New York, and Goldman could not be reached for comment.

The developers will soon start actively marketing the space to interested renters, Pogoda said. The tentative plan is to bring retail to the bottom floor and office space above that, but they are open to other arrangements.

"It could be a retail tenant that wants the whole thing — we're very open to various possibilities," he said.

However, the 20-year-old theater — which was preceded by other art-house cinemas for nearly a century — will almost certainly leave, though it's "not 100 percent certain," Pogoda said.

"If the cinema wanted to negotiate with us, we'd be more than open," he explained, adding that Landmark has so far not expressed an interest in leasing the space.

A spokeswoman for Landmark said the company had been notified of the sale but would not say whether the theater planned on leaving.

The theater had a right of first refusal to purchase the space, according to its lease. It had wanted to start serving food and alcohol, but scrapped the plan when denied a liquor license by Community Board 3.

The building has been on the market since 2015, and rumors of the sale to East End Capital began swirling in March, when Bobby Weiss of the Lower East Side blog published rumors of the deal. At that time, a Landmark spokeswoman said the theater had no intention of leaving the space.

K Property Group did not return a request for comment.