Mayor Updates City About Theater
Nancy Rotering outlines short-term and long-term plan for Highland Park Theatre.
What's Happening with the Highland Park Theater?
There is a short-term answer and there is a long-term answer.
Want Highland Park news in your inbox every morning? Subscribe to Patch's newsletter.
Our goal is to re-open a safe theater as quickly as possible. However, making the theater safe will cost money and we must be reasonable with our resources. We will assess how much it will cost to reopen the Theater and determine if it is fiscally responsible to invest your money in a facility that has an uncertain future.
City Manager Dave Knapp has been working with an independent fire safety engineer to help us assess our options. A full report of his recommendations and estimated costs is expected within the next few weeks.
Upon receipt of the report, the Council will do a cost analysis and discuss the pros and cons associated with our short-term desire to quickly reopen the Theater and the long-term potential project discussed below.
Last fall, the City put the Theater out for a Request for Proposal (RFP). After reviewing the variety of responses received, the Council directed our Community Development Director to commence discussions with the group that submitted the most appropriate and economically advantageous proposal. While transparency is always our goal, the details of the proposal and negotiations must remain confidential for the time being while specifics relating to the negotiations are ironed out.
Unique aspects of this project exceed the capabilities of a municipality finance department. On Monday night, June 11, 2012, the Council voted to hire a financial assessment consulting group that specializes in complex financial transactions such as the one proposed, to assist us with the disposition of the Theater. They will analyze the feasibility of the project and the qualifications of the developer.
During the closed Executive Session of our Committee of the Whole meeting on June 25, 2012, we will discuss a proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to be entered into with the developer. This document will outline the conditions of the project negotiations.
If the Council concludes that the project is of interest, the proposal will be vetted over the course of this next year through our standard channels, beginning with the Plan Commission and Design Review Commission conducting public hearings and analyses followed by City Council action.
Highland Park Mayor