The Montclair Times and The Star Ledger tag team Steven Plofker today, with the latest up-to-the-minute goings on in the Wellmont saga. First, from The Ledger, with us reading between the lines…
Plofker gets new offer for historic theater
Steven Plofker, the developer who purchased the historic Wellmont Theater only to put it back on the market, has received an offer for the old movie house.
Don’t get too excited — it’s not an offer that’s being accepted. In fact, it’s an offer Plofker isn’t giving “serious consideration.” The fact that he’s not considering it — yet — is the news, although it reads more like PR machinations.
But Plofker said he wasn’t giving an investment company’s offer, “in the ballpark” of his $1.5 million asking price, serious consideration.
“The intention is to find someone who will use the theater for some kind of arts or performing arts kind of use,” Plofker said. “I’ll be a little more patient trying to find that type of user.”
In May, Plofker snapped up the triplex theater for $985,000 from Gary E. Heckel of Roberts Theaters. At first, he said he might convert the grand stage space behind the multiplex’s screens into a restaurant and find an operator for the movie house, but he instead opted to put it back on the market.
He listed the circa 1922 theater with Prudential Zinn about four weeks ago. He termed the offer “respectable” but said that wasn’t the issue.
“We’re working with two different interested parties, and I have no idea whether one of these will come to fruition,” Plofker said. “These art groups or film operators are not generally the most financially sound entities, so it just takes patience on our part to work with them. That’s what we’re trying to do.”
The Montclair Times piece opens with…
No one wants to let go of a good thing.
Actually, someone did. Namely Gary Heckel, the guy who sold it to Plofker in the first place.
And closes with…
Montclair currently does not have a performing arts center.
That’s certainly true. So do we think it’s going to get one? Outpost in The Burbs and Montclair Arts Council are among those trying. Will it be as hard to find a buyer for the Wellmont as it is to find buyers for these?
Is Plofker setting the stage to play the dashing hero, rushing in and saving the Wellmont, to make up for the Crisco fiasco? Or merely going through the motions of exhausting all avenues. It’s a suspense thriller to be sure; pass the popcorn.