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Rio Grande Entertainment Complex ‘Moving Forward’

A largely vacant complex is shown Oct. 13 in Rio Grande.

By Vince Conti

RIO GRANDE –  When the county developed plans for the old shopping center in Rio Grande that was anchored by the now-defunct Kmart store, those plans included an entertainment complex, complete with a movie theater, bowling alley and restaurant. The project was to be part of a public/private repurposing for the center that has since been renamed County Commons.
The entertainment complex is the contribution of a group best known for their redevelopment of the Stone Harbor theater and associated restaurant venues on 96th Street in the heart of the borough’s business district.
The work on the entertainment complex in Rio Grande has languished. The plans for the County Commons were first presented to the then Board of Freeholders in October 2019. 
Soon thereafter, the pandemic raged across the state, putting an end to most efforts at communal entertainment venues. As the danger of Covid began to recede, 40-year record high inflation and major supply chain disruptions took its place as obstacles.
Curt Bunting, a principal with the owners of the Harbor Square Theater in Stone Harbor told the Herald Oct. 10 that the Rio Grande project is set to move forward. 
Bunting said, “the supply chain issue and inflation have played a significant role in slowing our progress.” He added that he is “shooting for early next year to have the majority of it open.” 
Bunting is hopeful that he will have firm dates by mid-December. 

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