The Reno City Council tomorrow is scheduled to consider an agenda item for the purchase of the beleaguered Lear Theater.
City staff characterized the transfer as a “donation of the Lear Theater from Artown with a tie-in for a continued $125,000 annual support payment plan to Artown for seven years” beginning this month.
The $125,000 is what the city annually grants to Artown as a festival sponsorship.
“This seven-year agreement with Artown is for the purchase of the Lear Theater located at 501 Riverside Drive … and the parking lot located to the west of the theater … not to exceed $875,000,” a staff report noted. “The City will make seven equal payments of $125,000 each fiscal year with funding coming from the Room Tax Fund.”
Rehab costs for the property are estimated to be as much as $10 million.
“These expenses are not included in the FY 21/22 adopted budget,” staff said.
The property has been unused since 2002. Artown got the property in 2011 for the purpose of transforming it into an arts center.
Bob Conrad is publisher, editor, and co-founder of This Is Reno. He has served in communications positions for various state agencies and earned a doctorate from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011, where he completed a dissertation on social media, journalism and crisis communications. In addition to managing This Is Reno, he holds a part-time appointment for the Mineral County University of Nevada Extension office.