Maya Cinemas North America has announced plans to break ground for its new megaplex theater development near the intersection of Hunt Highway and Gary Road near the Walmart plaza.
Jon Willis, broker for Willis Property Co. of Mesa, said escrow was recently closed on a 28-acre site on the south side of Walmart, and that groundbreaking will take place “near the end of the year, likely in November.”
The new theater complex is expected to open in late 2014
According to a report from the San Tan Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Maya Cinemas megaplex will be a 59,000-square-foot facility with 14 screens, each one measuring 75 feet wide. The complex will also include 8,500 square feet of restaurant space, 1,500 square feet for retail, and an 8,000-square-foot pad for a free standing restaurant.
Phase 2 of the construction will have 19,000 square feet for restaurant space and 45,000 square feet for retail, and is expected to be completed in early 2015. One of the theaters will be used for conventions and school functions.
Adolfson & Peterson Construction of Tempe has been contracted to build the theater, with assistance from San Tan Valley subcontractors, at the request of Maya Cinemas. The San Tan Valley Chamber of Commerce stated that the development will create over 500 new jobs.
On its website, Maya Cinemas said it is developing a chain of megaplex movie theaters in “new and redevelopment market areas.” The Los Angeles-based chain intends to develop movie theaters in locations with “a strong Latino presence.”
Willis said that Maya Cinemas management is currently declining comment, but will speak publicly at a later date.
In June, the town of Queen Creek approved a site plan for Maya Cinemas, but when Harkins Theaters announced its intentions to build in Queen Creek, Maya decided on a site in San Tan Valley instead
“We began getting mixed signals and untimely delays with the execution of the development agreement. It only made sense for us to consider other options,” Willis said.
Tisha Castillo, president and CEO of the San Tan Valley Chamber of Commerce, said in a statement that “for months, the town of Queen Creek promoted that both (Harkins and Maya) were coming to the area. We knew that wasn’t going to happen. And I was going to do whatever I could to keep the lines of communication open with Maya with the hope that they would build here, in our community.
“To think that in less than two years, we were able to bring a project of this size into San Tan Valley, Arizona, is remarkable,” she continued. “San Tan Valley is finally being recognized as a community not only with affordable housing, beautiful skies and open trails, but an area that is ‘open for business.’”
Maya Cinemas, founded in 2001, offers first-run Hollywood movies, with one screen designated for specialty and Spanish language films. Its other California locations are in Salinas, Bakersfield and Pittsburg.