Next on the to-do list for the group was to craft a memorandum of understanding with Downtown@808 giving Goshen Theater Inc. the right of first refusal to purchase the theater building.
“So our plan is to come up with a purchase agreement before the end of the year,” Leichty said. “We’re actually hoping to have that completed sometime in the next month. We are in the process of negotiating a sale price with them and agreeable terms on the purchase of that building. So once we have that done, we’ll know the full fundraising amount that we need to procure in order to buy the building.”
Adding some urgency to that process is the knowledge that while originally Downtown@808 had indicated it would be interested in occupying and utilizing the building for another couple of years, last December the church announced that it would like to accelerate that timeline significantly.
“So we’re looking at not only raising the funds for a full renovation of the theater, but also some interim operations,” Leichty said. “We feel like it would be a great disservice to the downtown to have the theater closed for the next couple of years while we’re looking at doing this major capital campaign. So we’re going to also try to simultaneously raise some funding for interim operations as well as buying the building and then rehabbing it to its full potential.”
Moving on to discuss what she called the group’s long range capital campaign for the theater, Leichty noted that Goshen Theater Inc. has successfully secured enough funding through the Elkhart County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau to fund a capital campaign planning study, which will be conducted by Laudick Brown & Associates of Indianapolis.
“We looked at a lot of proposals, and felt like theirs was the best value for what we were looking for,” Leichty said. “So they should start working actually in October of this year, but won’t be done with their full capital campaign planning study until June of next year.”