by Stephen Ursery
Mill Creek Residential, a leading developer, owner-operator and investment manager specializing in premier rental housing across the U.S., today announced the addition of Paragon Theaters to Founders Row, a mixed-use lifestyle center in the heart of Falls Church.
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.
The area’s most advanced moviegoing experience is coming to Founders Row, which sits at the intersection of West Broad and North West Streets about 10 miles west of Washington, D.C. The theater, which will also include a full-service restaurant and bar along with “Barcade” entertainment options on the ground floor, will 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.
“We are thrilled to welcome Paragon Theaters to Founders Row,” said Joe Muffler, senior managing director of development for Mill Creek Residential. “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.”
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,” said Mike Wilson, Co-CEO of Paragon. “We believe the theater will become an immediate attraction and offer an unmatched entertainment experience in the area.”
Founders Row boasts a centralized location within Falls Church, a charming inside-the-Beltway suburb of Washington, D.C. that features a 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 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.”
Located at 110 Founders Avenue, 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.”
There is limited available space for restaurants and other boutique shops remaining at Founders Row. To inquire about available retail space, please contact Chris Wilkinson, principal at Willard Retail. He can be reached at 301-657-7330 or CWilkinson@WillardRetail.com.