Friday, 09 March 2018 14:07

City, potential theater buyers sought fixed due diligence date

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Both the city and the potential buyers of the Roanoke Rapids Theater wanted to fix a date for the end of the due diligence period which could lead to the sale of the venue, City Attorney Gilbert Chichester said today.

The decision to set the date to April 30 was one which did not require a formal vote after council was briefed on the matter in closed session Tuesday, he said.

“There was no fixed end date and they had initially thought they could complete the due diligence before the 120 days,” Chichester said, referring to Tom and Evon McClean, who successfully put in a bid to buy the venue last year.

There has been significant due diligence done regarding the building itself.

That process has included inspections of the building, testing of the land, examining equipment and the structure. “There were a few minor things which needed to be repaired,” the attorney said. “With a building like that, you can’t do it overnight. There have been several different visits and inspections. All those have been substantially completed.”

Barring any unforeseen issues with the building, the McCleans will be moving forward with completing their due diligence. “They’ve been working on securing financing and have been successful. They are working on a business plan for the theater.”

Following a January closed session briefing, city officials confirmed the due diligence period was progressing without any hitches.

Said Chichester today: “I have not seen anything. City council asked me the same question. I have not seen anything that gives me pause.”

Councilman Wayne Smith, who has long advocated for the sale of theater, said today, “I feel like things are on track. I feel comfortable with it, but I don’t feel that we should have anymore closed sessions on the theater. I think the public needs to know everything that goes on with that theater. It belongs to the taxpayers. We should keep them informed at all times.”

Both Chichester and City Manager Joseph Scherer said the city is honoring contracts for use of theater during the due diligence period. There are two outstanding contracts, the city manager confirmed.

In November, city council unanimously adopted a resolution which approved 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.


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