Council Nears Royalty Theater Purchase
By Carl Wagenfohr
CLEARWATER – By a unanimous vote at their August 21st meeting, the Clearwater City Council agreed to move toward the purchase of the downtown Royalty Theater and adjacent Lokey building.
The city has been negotiating an agreement with PACT, the operator of the city-owned Ruth Eckerd Hall, for the purchase and renovation of the 1896-vintage theater. The plan is expected to create a unique live performance venue in downtown Clearwater, spurring the area's economic development.
The city would agree to contribute $6.5-million, $2.7 million for the purchase and $3.8-million of the renovation cost, and PACT would commit to raising $8-million for the project.
A final decision will be made at the September 18th City Council meeting, when a second appraisal of the properties will have been completed and a term sheet between the city and PACT will have been drafted.
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