Tuesday, 21 November 2017 20:22

Council approves resolution accepting theater bid

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The prospective owners of the Roanoke Rapids Theatre will have a 120-day due diligence period before they sign a contract to take over the building.

That period allows Thomas and Evon McClean to review documents, inspection reports, the building and its systems before signing.

Both City Manager Joseph Scherer and City Attorney Gilbert Chichester said following tonight’s city council meeting the due diligence period is not expected to take that long.

“They’ve done an excellent job maintaining the facility,” Scherer said of the public works and recreation departments.

Chichester said, “They don’t anticipate it taking the full 120 days.”

City council unanimously adopted a resolution which approves the final bid offer of the McCleans to buy the theater for $3 million. They have already made a $150,000 down payment. There were no upset bids made at close of business Monday, Scherer confirmed earlier today.

Councilman Wayne Smith made the motion to adopt the resolution and Ernest Bobbitt made the second.

Part of the resolution approved says, “Roanoke Rapids City Council deems it advisable and in the best interest of the city to sell its interest in the subject property to the successful bidder and convey its interest in said property by special warranty deed.”

Scherer and Chichester will be working on the contract Wednesday, the attorney said.

Scherer said the McCleans “have a good business plan to develop” the theater as well as the entertainment district off Highway 125.

The prospective owners are expected to reach out to media by public relations representatives next week, Scherer said.

Scherer said conversations with the McCleans have indicated they want to develop adjacent properties around the theater for “what it was originally intended. I think the private ownership will lead to additional efforts to draw more out there.”

Once the sale is complete Scherer said the venue will put around $50,000 in taxes back in the city’s books although he anticipates the new owners may ask for a tax revaluation. The theater is currently valued at $8 million.

The city manager said he is “very hopeful it will lead to very positive development in the district next to the interstate.”
Councilman Carl Ferebee said, “I’m just glad to see it move forward.”

Smith said, “I think it’s going to benefit the taxpayers over a period of time.”



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