Jan. 23, 2017 – West Bend, WI – Reporter Tom Dayken penned an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today about the competing plans for the downtown West Bend Theatre.
One group is looking to save and renovate the theatre and another is looking to preserve the facade and make it an open-air park.
The interesting tidbit Dayken had was the amount of money raised by the facade group. A portion of Dayken’s article is below.
That group advocating the park and amphitheater plan has nearly raised the $700,000 it says is needed for the project.
“We’re very close,” said Mike Husar, who’s leading the effort. He is an owner of Husar’s House of Fine Diamonds, a longtime West Bend business that is next to the former theater.
The West Bend Theatre opened in 1929 and stopped showing movies about 10 years ago. It was later sold to Ascendant Holdings LLC, a real estate development and investment group co-owned by West Bend native Matthew Prescott.
Husar said his group has been working on the park and amphitheater plan for about a year.
Historic West Bend Theatre was organized last spring, and needs to raise an estimated $1 million to $2 million for its proposal, Georgeson said.
“I don’t think we prefer a certain proposal,” said Prescott, of building owner Ascendant Holdings. “The important thing to us is that its next owner has a good long-term plan that they can actually follow through on and benefit the entire downtown area.”