owned Highland Park Theater will be sold with no restrictions after the Alcyon
Foundation withdrew its bid to renovate it last week as a multiuse
entertainment venue, according to a statement by Mayor Nancy Rotering at Monday’s
City Council meeting.
Rotering told those in attendance at the meeting the Council made its decision in a closed session earlier Monday. The City closed the theater nearly two years ago after potential safety concerns came to its attention.
“The City has exhausted numerous efforts to redevelop the property in a way that meets the goals and desires of the community, reduces the financial burden placed on residents, and complements the business community,” Rotering said.
The City has gone through two sets of invitations to potential buyers who would maintain the theater as some form of entertainment venue as at least part of its proposal. The latest round produced a memorandum of understanding with the Alcyon Foundation Oct. 28 to turn the building into a multi use facility concentrating on entertainment. It was set to expire Friday.
“There was insufficient financial support for the development of a mixed use venue, and they (the Alcyon Foundation) could not secure the necessary financial commitment to advance the capital campaign for the long term operation of the theater,” Rotering said.
This latest turn of events means any potential owner of the theater can proceed with any operation which is within the City’s downtown zoning requirements. The sale may include the city owned parking lot to the immediate east of the building.
“City Council has agreed to sell the property as a clean sale with no restrictions on the property,” Rotering said. The adjacent parking may be considered as part of the revitalization or redevelopment of the property.”
In other action, the Council unanimously approved an ordinance requiring owners of residential rental properties which do not come under normal inspection requirements to register with the City and pay a $30 per unit fee.
The Council also approved the sale of $10 million in bonds to finance the completion of the renovation of the Water Treatment Plan. Patch will have more detailed stories on these issues and other matters considered by the Council later this week.