Cobb Theatre announced Wednesday it would not be going ahead with its 10-cinema luxury theatre planned for the Bull Street development in Columbia. The property, being developed by the Hughes Development Corporation, is the 181-acres of the former State Hospital campus.
Despite the news, Hughes Development COO Robert Hughes remains optimistic about the potential of Bull Street, and says Cobb’s move is a great opportunity.
“We knew of (Cobb’s) intention to move for some time,” Hughes said. “That’s their decision to make, but we’re excited about what we have the chance to bring to the project.”
Hughes said his group has been in contact with other potential theatres, as well as other entertainment groups to fill the spot.
“We understand the optics, but this is great for us,” Hughes said. “We are moving full steam ahead.”
Cobb Theatre COO Frank Stryjewski said Wednesday the chain terminated the lease due to the developer not meeting the parking contingency on the time agreed upon.
It was announced in July of 2016 that Cobb would be building at the Bull Street sight, and construction was to begin this year. The theatre was announced as the anchor to a planned 85-store district, with the names of those retailers coming out of the next two years.
With Cobb pulling out, many in Columbia are wondering what’s next for the property.
“All projects have their ups and downs,” Hughes said. “We just appreciate everyone’s patience, as we’re working tirelessly to fulfill the vision we have for Bull Street.”
Hughes went on to say that the project, which was expected to run over a 20-year period, is still on pace.
“We’re going to deliver,” Hughes said. “I’m not worried, and I know the other realtors we have talked to are not worried.”