UPDATE: The Assembly voted 9-2 to appropriate the $250,000. I'll paste the top of my (draft) story for tomorrow below.
I'm in the belly of the Loussac
Library for tonight's Assembly meeting, where we could see a vote on spending $250,000 of old historic preservation money toward the 4th Avenue Theatre deal.
There's not a huge crowd -- a Boy Scout group represents about a fifth of the people here.
-- 5:47 p.m.: The Boy Scouts just left.
-- 6:40 p.m.: The Assembly’s eating dinner. Just before the break, Dan Sullivan said he expects a vote tonight on the appropriation, but he and Traini are looking for more details from the city about how the overall deal would work.
The Anchorage Assembly voted Tuesday to spend $250,000 in historic preservation money to help launch a proposed $5.4 million deal that would buy and renovate the 4th Avenue Theatre.
The Assembly’s vote doesn’t mean the theater plan – which was put together by the city but recently tweaked to distance the municipality from actually running or owning the theater -- is a done deal.
“It’s a lot closer, but there are no guarantees,” Chris Schutte, spokesman for Anchorage Downtown Partnership, said earlier in the day.
The Partnership is a nonprofit collaboration of downtown businesses. Under the current plan, it would be the majority owner of a new corporation that would own the 60-year-old theater.
A big part of the deal is a loan from the Rasmuson Foundation. But chief administrative officer Jeff Clarke told Assembly members that the proposal the foundation agreed to has now changed, and that the foundation will have to re-evaluate its role in the plan.
The Assembly voted 9-2 to appropriate the money, which originally came from a state historical preservation grant. Assemblymen Paul Bauer and Dan Sullivan voted no.
Sullivan said he wasn’t convinced the Partnership was ready for its new role, while Assemblyman Dan Coffey said the art deco theater was a good place to put the historic preservation money.
What else in this town is very historic, he said.