Newberry for sale

posted by georgek on March 31, 2008 at 3:55 pm

COVINGTON, OH – The Newberry Theater, a beautiful, historic and operational 400-seat opera house with over 15,000 square feet of attached commercial space is for sale.

The building, erected in 1910 as the Newberry Township Building, housed local township officials on the first and second floor and a Masonic Lodge on the third floor. The opera house, which offers crystal-clear natural acoustics and excellent sight lines from every seat, was home to traveling theater troupes in the 1910’s and 1920’s, silent movies and ‘talkies’, as well as school plays. The theater went dark in 1947, and then served for several decades as a furniture warehouse — which ensured that the roof remained intact and the building dry.

The commercial space continued to house local officials and a mix of businesses including doctor’s office, barber and law office into the 1990’s. The township sold the building in 1995 to a private individual, and it was used for private storage until 2005, when the present owners purchased the building and began significant renovations.

The opera house and over 1K square feet of first floor commercial space is available for immediate use. A certificate of occupancy for up to 99 individuals was awarded after structural and life safety improvements were made including emergency lighting, illuminated exit signs and initial fire suppression. The opera house includes a 28' proscenium arch, hand-painted stencils, 100-seat balcony, orchestra pit, ornate pressed tin ceiling and under-stage area with 6 private dressing rooms and 2 private bathrooms. Additional improvements include extensive electrical upgrades in the theater and renovation of the first floor offices — one of which is ideally suited for food service such as an ice cream parlor or coffee shop. The theater itself is currently unheated, which effectively limits the season from May to November. Over 100 theater seats (1910-era) have been temporarily installed, along with basic lighting, a sound system and wireless internet.

The theater is located in Miami County (pop 100,000), Ohio, in the Village of Covington — 30 miles north of Dayton and 7 miles west of Troy / I-75. Covington is a charming community (pop 2,500) with great schools, strong churches, and a unique, peaceful quality of life. The village is just minutes from I-70 and I-75, yet offers a timeless, small-town charm with the promise of a simpler life. Located nearby are many Old Order German Baptist farmers and craftsmen (similar to Amish), whose horse-and-buggies can still be seen in town regularly.

An estimated $1.3M in historic restoration financing is available is the form of historic restoration tax credits from the federal and state government. Large corporations and banks can reduce their tax liability by purchasing these tax credits and investing that amount into targeted programs — in this case a government program that seeks to spur the redevelopment of historic structures in towns and cities throughout America. A Fortune 500 investment partner has agreed to purchase the 20% federal and (currently) 25% State of Ohio tax credits, which together provide up to $1.3M in essentially ‘free cash’ for the project. Legal services to create separate company are included in purchase price. Contact seller for additional details on the property or investment credit financing.

This is your chance to own and restore a piece of history. The attached commercial space is fairly unique as most theaters lack high-quality commercial space, and can be rented separately or used in conjunction with stage events. The building is not yet listed on the Historic Registry, but a non-profit organization has been formed to support the registration and renovation process.

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