Willard Ford is selling the Kim Sing Theatre space that he has owned since 1999. Ford, the son of Harrison Ford, is one of the pioneers of downtown’s Chinatown renaissance and is listing the 10,000-square-foot mixed-use space for $4.5 million.
The former vaudeville house and movie theater was built in 1926 and redesigned by Ford, working in conjunction with XTen Architects. Changes to the site including cutting out the middle of the building to make an internal courtyard, and creating a three-tiered floor where it once sloped for theater seating. The original cinema marquee is intact.
Over the 15 years that has Ford occupied the building, he has used it as a residence, a furniture and fashion showroom, and an event space.
“We have done launch events for BMW, Nike as well as corporate events for the Grammys, Pepsi and Star Wars in this place. It’s great for all of that,” he says. Flagship, Ford’s sales and marketing agency for design, apparel and brands, will most likely relocate to downtown’s Fashion District, he adds.
David Kean of Teles Properties holds the listing and says that the unique Chinatown property will most likely go to an owner/user. “This is the perfect place for someone in entertainment; either an actor who wants a downtown base or a musician who could have a full recording studio here.”
A recent uptick in Chinatown development, including large-scale residential projects such as Forrest City Development’s $95 million Blossom Plaza, will add 250 rental units and 20,000 square feet of retail and residential space.
“A myriad of new hip shops, galleries and restaurants are starting to make their mark on the Chinatown historic streetscape,” says Kean. “The first domino has fallen; more construction and growth is certain to follow.”