|Sandy hints it may want county support for arts district|
|By Rosemary Winters|
The Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune
|Article Last Updated:08/19/2008 09:34:58 PM MDT|
|Posted: 9:30 PM- Sandy doesn't want a handout from Salt Lake County to build Utah's first Broadway-style theater.
But the county could be asked to support three smaller theaters and a performing-arts school planned around the grand playhouse as part of The Proscenium, developer Scott McQuarrie said Tuesday.
"We would not like to shut the door on that," he told the County Council after sharing his plans for a $560 million mixed-use project near Interstate 15 and 10000 South in Sandy. The Proscenium would be anchored by an arts district, including a 2,700-seat Broadway-style theater, and three, 30- to 40-story towers filled with condos, a hotel and offices.
Salt Lake City also is working to snag the state's first mega-theater, capable of landing first runs of Broadway touring hits. The capital declined an invitation to present its plans to the County Council on Tuesday because the city has not yet selected a site.
McQuarrie acknowledged having two, competing Broadway-style theaters in the Salt Lake Valley would hurt the financial success of both facilities. Some observers, including Sandy Mayor Tom Dolan, have said only one theater ultimately would be built.
The Proscenium's Broadway-style playhouse would cost about $55 million. Sandy plans to tap funds from an existing redevelopment area around the site to buy the theater through a lease-to-own agreement.
"You may not be coming back to us for public funding" for the Broadway-style theater, County Councilman Marv Hendrickson told McQuarrie, "but Sandy might."
The developer also plots a performing-arts school, a children's theater, a black-box stage and a 500-seat "showcase theater" to create a "critical mass" of art lovers visiting Sandy's potential arts district daily.
Building the additional venues would cost $20 million to $60 million, he said. He's not seeking county hotel taxes - those funds already suffered a Sandy blow when the Legislature siphoned $35 million for Real Salt Lake's soccer stadium - or Zoo, Arts and Parks funds, he said after the meeting.
It's possible, McQuarrie added, that Sandy could seek county support to expand the site's redevelopment funds, which come from the additional property taxes generated in the area by the project.
The County Council - waiting on the results of a cultural-facilities master plan that is expected to point out the best site for a Broadway stage - had mixed responses to McQuarrie's presentation. Chairman Michael Jensen called the project "amazing." But Councilman David Wilde, a vocal opponent of RSL's stadium funding, grilled McQuarrie about the possible need for county money.
"I don't know when you guys are coming back," Wilde said, "but I'm not going to be very [inclined] to vote for county funding, particularly for a Broadway-style theater."