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Development group buys Sterling Theater

Two neighborhood program homes sell

STERLING – The Greater Sterling Development Corp. has bought the Sterling Theater and renovation plans are moving ahead.

City Manager Scott Shumard told the council Monday that the deed was transferred to the GSDC on Dec. 21.

Earlier that month, the council voted to approve a $550,000 loan from its capital fund to the GSDC to buy the vacant downtown movie theater. The GSDC will sell it to Skip Huston of Avon Theatre Management Co., who will make monthly payments for 11 years.

The payments will go back to the city to pay off its loan.

In addition, the GSDC will collect rent on four units that are part of the theater property that now house a beauty salon, a barbershop, a medical scrubs store and a tattoo parlor.

The theater has asbestos that must be removed before renovation can begin, Shumard said.

Huston will go through the theater next week and outline some of his plans, he said.

“The overarching goal is to try to get it open in May. Hopefully, we get there. It’s a lot of work to be done.”

One of Theater Management Group’s concepts is a “brew and view” that sells beer, wine and food to moviegoers. The company likely will hire 12 part-time employees, officials have said.

Also Monday night, council members learned that the city sold two more Neighborhood Stabilization Program homes, at 1411 Johnson Ave. and 905 Third Ave., bringing to 11 the total number sold.

The Johnson Avenue home sold for $90,000, the Third Avenue home for $95,000. Both sites had homes that were demolished and new houses built.

Through the federal program, the city bought foreclosed homes to either rehab or tear down and rebuild. The new homes are being sold to qualifying low- and moderate-income buyers, with incentives such as help with the down payments.

Four remodeled homes remain for sale. The city has $400,000 left from proceeds to reinvest in additional rehabilitation or demolition work that qualifies for the program, Shumard said.

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