Around F.C., News

It’s Official: Lease Signed For Six Movie Screens

Joe Muffler, key point person for the Mill Creek’s Founders Row mixed use development in the downtown area of the City of Falls Church, announced to the News-Press earlier this week that a formal lease has finally been signed with Paragon Theatres for a multiscreen facility at Founders Row.

In an official statement, Mill Creek Residential, self-characterized as, a leading developer, owner-operator and investment manager specializing in premier rental housing across the U.S., Tuesday announced the addition of Paragon Theaters to Founders Row, a mixed-use “lifestyle center in the heart of Falls Church.”

The statement announced that Paragon Theaters will add 600-plus seats and seven screens, including its innovative Lux Box concept featuring heated “Zero Gravity” reclining seats, complete with privacy walls. Guests can enjoy an array of food and beverage conveniently delivered to their seats with the convenience of QR code ordering. In addition, Paragon will bring its Axis 15 Extreme, a ground-breaking large format Auditorium with a 65-foot screen tilted 15 degrees for optimal viewing. Axis 15 Extreme will feature Laser projection, Dolby Atmos sound and 3D capability.

Described as “the area’s most advanced moviegoing experience” that is coming to Founders Row. “will also include a full-service restaurant and bar along with ‘Barcade’ entertainment options on the ground floor, to join the retail landscape at Founders Row that also includes restaurants Ellie Bird, Chasin’ Tails, Nue, Roll Play Vietnamese Grill, Kyu Ramen and Kyo Matcha, along with other retailers such as Club Pilates and 4Ever Young Med Spa.

Muffler, a senior managing director of development for Mill Creek residential, is quoted as saying, “We are thrilled to welcome Paragon Theaters to Founders Row. While previous efforts to bring a theater to the City of Falls Church were thwarted by the pandemic, we have nevertheless worked tirelessly to realize the vision that we set to create when this project was first approved in 2016. We firmly believe in the future of movies and the exhibition industry, so this is the best possible outcome to partner with such a high-level theater operator. We believe the addition of Paragon Theaters will further transform Founders Row into a true destination community.”

Muffler has been a tireless public spokesman on behalf of Mill Creek in the City of Falls Church for the better part of the last decade as it took over the 4.3 acre Founders Row development at N. West and W. Broad and has now gone on to secure development of the former Rite Aid site catty-corner to Founders Row which will get underway next year. His work has included regular meetings with neighbors to the Founders Row sites to hear their concerns and address them as much as possible.

Paragon Theaters was formed in 2009 by former Muvico Entertainment executives Mike Whalen, Jr. and Mike Wilson. The company has a proven track record of building, retrofitting and operating successful movie theaters throughout the southeast U.S. Paragon’s portfolio currently consists of seven operating theaters in Florida, North Carolina and Virginia, with the most recent theater addition the brand-new Paragon Fenton location in Cary, N.C., which opened in summer 2022.

“Founders Row is a genuinely unique development that attracts a wide array of residents and visitors, and we’re eager to make it the next home of Paragon Theaters,” the announcement this week quoted Mike Wilson, Co-CEO of Paragon as saying. “We believe the theater will become an immediate attraction and offer an unmatched entertainment experience in the area.”

Founders Row’s centralized location within Falls Church highlights access to the Little City’s “thriving school system, an active arts and cultural presence, and direct access to the Washington & Old Dominion (W&OD) trail, a paved 45-mile rail trail that extends through northern Virginia.”

“With new development, the City of Falls Church consistently seeks to bring in popular amenities like great retail, restaurants and entertainment that residents and visitors can all enjoy,” said Falls Church Mayor P. David Tarter. “We congratulate Mill Creek on this milestone at Founders Row and look forward to welcoming Paragon Theaters to the City.”

Founders Row includes 80,000 square feet of overall luxury retail space and offers two distinct apartment communities. Modera Founders Row is a contemporary market-rate community featuring 322 homes, and Verso Founders Row is a 72-home age-restricted community dedicated to individuals 55 years and older.
“Adding our anchor back into the mix at Founders Row is extremely exciting,” Muffler said. “We have spent nearly a decade curating a vision with our partners, CrossHarbor Capital Partners, and the City of Falls Church to create an exciting, boutique lifestyle entertainment environment within the Beltway. Combining Paragon with Michelin-award winning chefs at Ellie Bird, and best-in-class operators such as the HEH Group, IVEA Restaurant Group and our other retailers, fulfills that goal, and we are thrilled to be opening retail at Founders Row before the end of 2022.”

Mill Creek Residential Trust LLC is a national rental housing company focused on the development, acquisition and operation of rental communities in targeted markets nationwide. The national company, headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida proactively develops, acquires, constructs and operates communities through its seasoned team of real estate professionals in offices across the United States. Mill Creek is building its portfolio in many of the nation’s most desirable markets in Seattle, Portland, the San Francisco Bay area, Southern California, Phoenix, Denver, Dallas, Austin, Houston, South Florida, Tampa, Orlando, Atlanta, Nashville, Charlotte, Raleigh, Washington, D.C., New Jersey, New York, and Boston. As of June 30, 2022, the company’s portfolio comprises 118 communities representing over 31,000 rental homes that are operating and/or under construction.

Paragon Entertainment Group was founded in 2009 by movie theater visionaries, Michael Whalen and Michael Wilson, who helped introduce the luxury theater concept to the U.S. Over the past decade, Paragon Theaters has acquired, renovated and elevated theaters throughout Florida and the southeastern United States.

With an emphasis on supremely comfortable design, elevated amenities, premium concessions, and reimagined sight and sound; Paragon Theaters presents a complete sensory experience that’s unrivaled. In recent years, Paragon Theaters expanded their portfolio to create total entertainment destinations; encompassing premium bowling with interactive games and chic lounge seating; and a full restaurant and bar in select theater locations to provide personalized entertainment for every age. Today, Paragon Entertainment Group continues to innovate with Axis15 Extreme large format screens with 4k Laser Projection and Dolby Atmos immersive sound, LuxBox semi-private seating featuring privacy walls, large heated zero gravity recliners, and dine-in food & drink service at the click of a QR code. Paragon Theaters operates in Florida, North Carolina and Virginia, for a total of seven theaters.