Sunday, March 25, 2012

Alex Theatre threatened

Millions of dollars' worth of planned improvements at the Alex Theatre have been put on hold, and Glendale may be forced to sell the historic venue because of the state's elimination of local redevelopment agencies.

Glendale Arts, the nonprofit group that operates the theater, said it had postponed upgrades until it determined whether transfer of the venue's ownership from the now-defunct redevelopment agency to the city was legal. If not, the theater could be sold as an agency asset.

In February, a new law took effect shutting down California's roughly 400 redevelopment agencies and redirecting the property tax money they run on to the state, counties and school districts. Glendale's agency was behind such start-up projects as the Americana at Brand and Disney's Creative Campus, but it had also taken over and revamped the Alex Theatre.

In a defensive move, officials shifted ownership of the historic landmark from the redevelopment agency to the city. But it's possible that deal could be undone, and in a report to the City Council last week, city officials warned, "there are more questions and uncertainties than clear answers."

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