Coventry Cinemas to be torn down to make way for apartments

The Coventry Cinemas complex will be demolished to make way for a new apartment complex. GWEN CLAYTON

ABOITE — An Indianapolis area developer has purchased the empty Coventry Cinemas building and an adjacent piece of property, and plans to build a multi-story apartment complex on the site.

Ventry Apartments LLC is the entity that purchased the 4.2 acre parcel owned by JSMN Coventry Cinemas LLC as well as another 4.2 acres owned by Striving Legacy Estates LLC. Neal Bowman and Rebecca Worrell, both of Sturges Property Group, represented all of the parties in the two transactions.

John Hennessey, president of Sunstone Construction Co. in Carmel and a partner in Domo Development, is behind the Ventry project. Sunstone and Domo were involved in the Cityscape Flats development in downtown Fort Wayne, as well as the upscale Steeplechase at Parkview complex just off Diebold and Dupont roads on the far north side of the city. Eric Doden, CEO of Greater Fort Wayne Inc., is also a founder and a principal of Domo.

The new apartment complex will be something similar to The Willows or the Hunt Club Apartments, Bowman said. The Coventry Cinemas building will be torn down to make way for the redevelopment.

Coventry Cinemas went into a long decline after the construction of Jefferson Pointe and its 18 theater complex, originally operated by Rave Cinemas and now owned by AMC. Because it was so close to Jefferson Pointe, it couldn’t book the same first-run movies that the newer, larger complex at Jefferson Pointe could show, Bowman said. It became a second-run theater, but continued to flounder and eventually shut down.

“It became an eyesore. I got calls about it every day,” Bowman said. The redevelopment of the site will be a benefit for the entire community, he added.

This story originally appeared in our sister publication, Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly.