New owners plan $2 million renovation of Five Points Theatre

Sun-Ray Cinema will depart as new owners plan to upgrade the building and theater space.

  • By Max Marbut
  • | 10:50 a.m. May 21, 2024
  • | 4 Free Articles Remaining!
The Five Points Theatre building at 1028 Park St. in Riverside.
The Five Points Theatre building at 1028 Park St. in Riverside.
Severine Photography
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Union South Partners plans a $2 million investment to renovate the historic Five Points Theatre.

Andrew Seng and Jay Weaver are the founders of Decatur, Georgia-based Union South Partners. Through 1028 Park LLC, they purchased the 1028 Park St. building May 16 for $7 million.

An entrance to offices in the Five Points Theatre building.
Severine Photography

“We have a strong record of success in activating adaptive reuse projects very similar to this one across the southeast to enhance their appeal as mixed-use destinations for both the immediate neighborhood as well as the broader community,” Seng said in a news release.

“What attracted us to Jacksonville and specifically to Riverside and Five Points is that it offers a genuine, authentic neighborhood experience with a thriving, live-work-play destination,” Weaver said in the release.

“The Five Points Theater building has played an iconic role in helping shape this neighborhood during the past century, and we intend to keep its historic roots as an entertainment and retail complex intact.”

The building has tenants occupying retail and office spaces that will remain in place for the duration of their existing lease agreements.

The Five Points Theatre building is in the foreground in this aerial view.
Special to the Daily Record

The lease for Sun-Ray Cinema, which has operated a two-screen movie theater in the building since 2011, has expired and will not be renewed.

Sun-Ray said on its Facebook page May 21 that it will vacate the property July 31.

Union South Partners is in discussions with multiple entertainment operators that could activate the renewed space and enhance the Five Points community, according to the release.

The four-story, 35,000-square-foot building, designed by architect Roy Benjamin was built in 1927 and opened as the Riverside Theatre. It was the first theater in Jacksonville to screen films with sound while also accommodating live theater performances.

The venue opened and closed a few times during the 1930s and 1940s before being remodeled in 1949 and reopening under the name that remains today, the Five Points Theatre building.

The theater closed in the 1970s because of the growth of suburban, multiscreen cinemas.

A hallway to offices inside the Five Points Theatre building in Riverside.
Severine Photography

The space later functioned as a live acting theater run by the River City Playhouse before transitioning in 1991 into Club5, which presented live music performances.

The Shad family acquired the building in 2004 and invested $5 million in renovations, restoring the building to its original façade and also securing historic landmark designation from the city.

“The Shad family’s acquisition of and investments into the property are what restored and preserved the structure’s original character and what we see today. Our goal is to build upon and continue what they began 20 years ago in ways that reflect and honor the building’s historical uses around entertainment,” Weaver said.

The building currently has retail and office space available for lease under the new ownership, including two retail storefronts facing Park Street.

In addition to renovations planned for the theater and retail spaces, the new owner is planning a modernization of the office lobby, common areas and restrooms.

Colliers International is the leasing agent for the building.



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