A New York financier who wants to transform the Carefree Theatre site paid $3 million for the aging property, county property records show.
2000 SDH LLC paid $3 million for the site in a deed recorded Oct. 28. The sale took place on Sept. 21, but real estate developer and film aficianado Charles Cohen waited until October to record a deed because he needed an unused parcel of land from the city of West Palm Beach to complete the assemblage.
The deed shows the sale of 2000 and 2020 S. Dixie Highway, plus 309 Barcelona Road, in West Palm Beach by prior owner Stoll Property Realty Corp., according to Palm Beach County records.
As previously reported, Cohen plans to raze the site, with plans for a center combining commercial spaces, homes and a theater.
Cohen, who leads Cohen Media Group, plans to show art, classic and foreign firms from the company’s collection. The collection includes a range of firms, including several directed by Buster Keaton.
Last month, Cohen Media acquired a 30-film library known as the Merchant Ivory films, including “Howards End,” “Maurice” and “Heat and Dust.”
The Carefree Theatre was a longtime destination for touring acts, including musicians and comedians. It also used to show art films, to the delight of patrons who fondly remember the theater’s quirky vibe.
The Carefree was owned by Jon Stoll, the late concert promoter who created Fantasma Productions. After Stoll died from an extended illness in 2008, the shuttered Carefree remained in limbo.
Stoll’s widow, Lori, inked a deal to sell it to Cohen this summer. With the deal’s recording, the sale finally is completed.
Cohen officials now are working on plans for the site. He has pledged to make sure the new development is in keeping with the city’s growing arts and cultural community.
Cohen is a New York developer who owns the Design Center of the Americas (DCOTA), the 800,000-square-foot showroom featuring furniture, fabrics and accessories in Dania Beach. His Cohen Brothers Realty Corp. also owns other design centers and office high-rises in New York, Houston and California.