Restaurant developer on verge of leasing Gastonia’s Webb Theater
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May 05, 2010 7:09 PM
A longtime conundrum over what to do with the historic Webb Theater in downtown Gastonia could end with a major announcement this month.
City leaders say they are finalizing a deal with a “reputable” developer who plans to turn the former drama and music center into an upscale restaurant.
“We’re very excited about it,” City Manager Jim Palenick told City Council members on Tuesday.
While details of the proposal are still being fine-tuned, the basics are in place, Palenick said. The city would approve a lease-to-own agreement that would end with the building being transferred to the new owner after 10 years.
“On May 18, we will have all the details and agreements for a lease-to-own deal with a committed, quality developer,” Palenick said. City Council members are expected to vote on the deal at that time.
The agreement would involve the city putting up $700,000 for an “allowance” fund that the developer would use to upfit the building and convert it into a restaurant, he said. That money would come from three funding sources at the city’s disposal that qualify for such a use.