By MADELYN FAIRBANKS
Published June 20, 2012
City wants out of ‘landlord business’ with Galaxy Theatres
MONROE - The land beneath the city’s only movie theater just entered into real estate limbo, awaiting approval from a Bothell company’s investigation into the property’s history before it leaves the city’s hands.
Beta-Kelsey Station LLC, a subsidiary of the family-owned real estate company Beta Commercial Properties, previously purchased about four acres of property directly to the south of the Galaxy Theatres.
Adding the 9.1 acres under Galaxy just made sense, Beta-Kelsey partner Richard Brunhaver said last week.
But Beta-Kelsey isn’t being hasty with the sale. According to the city’s economic development manager Jeff Sax, Beta-Kelsey has 59 days from June 15 to close the first large parcel of the agreement for $1.7 million, and Brunhaver said his company is using its time to thoroughly look into the property.
“We’re researching as much information regarding the history of the property as we can,” Brunhaver said. “We are evaluating the situation, and if we find that there aren’t any problems, we would close accordingly.”
As to whether the movie theater will get to stay, Brunhaver couldn’t provide any details on that. The movie theater currently leases the land from the city and pays the city about $156,000 a year.
If the sale goes through, the second and last parcel will close “on or around October 5, 2012,” Sax said. The entire sale will total $2 million.
Sax said the city will likely recommend the money be placed in the city’s reserve fund.
The city has been wanting to “get out of the landlord business” and has attempted to sell the property to Galaxy over the years, Sax said. That same night, however, the council made this decision it entered into a landlord deal with a wakeboard park company. The wakeboard park deal in its first year would bring in just $12,000 a year in rent.
Most recently, Galaxy had the exclusive right to buy the property, but it declined.
Galaxy offered to buy the property in 2007 for $1.23 million, but at that time the council declined to sell.