GOSHEN — Ownership of Goshen’s historic downtown theater could soon be changing hands.
Goshen Redevelopment Commission members Tuesday voted in favor of providing a $150,000 loan to the recently formed non-profit organization Goshen Theater Inc., funding which the group plans to use to purchase the historic downtown theater.
“The Goshen Theater project has been going on since 2010, and it seems like it’s just now getting rolling,” said Mark Brinson, director of community development for the city. “It’s a big project.”
According to Brinson, the Redevelopment Commission back in 2010 approved a matching grant to the downtown advocacy group Downtown Goshen Inc. for the purpose of completing a study of the feasibility of renovating the currently shuttered Goshen Theater into a center for arts and entertainment in the downtown.
That study, he said, confirmed that the theater could indeed be successful, provided that a non-profit organization could be established to operate the theater and conduct a major fundraising campaign. According to the results of the study, a full renovation project for the theater would likely fall somewhere in the range of $9.5 million, with the annual cost of its operation falling at around $200,000 a year.
Following completion of the feasibility study, Goshen Theater Inc. was reportedly formed with the mission of acquiring, renovating and eventually operating the Goshen Theater.
Along those lines, Brinson said the group recently commissioned a feasibility study to see if it would be possible to raise all of the necessary funding for the renovation project through either private sources or grants. The results of that study are expected in July this year.
In the meantime, Brinson noted that the current owner of the theater, Epic Ministries, is in the market to sell the theater immediately and has expressed a strong desire to sell the theater to GTI so that it can be maintained as a community venue for the performing arts.