Roosevelt in need of buyer
KENOSHA, WI — The Roosevelt Theatre could go dark for good if no legitimate sale offers come forward very soon.
Mitch Engen, the city’s property division maintenance supervisor, said the city could finalize contracts for asbestos abatement and demolition for the Roosevelt Theatre, 2908 Roosevelt Road, within the next week.
“We’re working on the contracts right now,” Engen said. “We sent it out for bid and we’ve had proposals for abatement and, separately, to take the building down. Nothing has been approved but they’re out there and we’re dotting the ‘i’s and crossing the ’t’s.”
The 80-year-old theater has been vacant for over two decades and was subject to a raze order last year. An injunction was filed when a group, led by Kenosha resident Ray Salerno, came forward with an interest in the building and a plan to turn it into an entertainment complex.
The property’s owners and the city signed a stipulation to delay that action, but a deadline for paying back taxes was missed earlier this year and the raze order became active again.
The city said they would consider holding off on demolition if any legitimate offers came forward to purchase the building. Engen said the city has not seen that yet.
“I had one person call up to see what we were looking for and what we would accept,” Engen said. “We laid it out for them, the same as everyone else: Show us that you have a business plan and the financial wherewithal and we’ll certainly sit down and talk to you. But we haven’t seen that individual come in yet.”
The building was listed at $174,900 last month through RealtyPro Professional Realty Group.
Robert Wagner, the agent for the property, said there has been interest but no concrete offers for the building.
“People have been looking, but there’s nothing on the table at this point,” Wagner said.
And Engen said with contracts close to being finalized, there was not much time left for those kinds of offers.
“Time is getting really narrow, people maybe have a week left,” Engen said. “The contracts are very close to being done.”
If these contracts are approved on schedule, Engen said asbestos abatement would start around July 12 and finish by the middle of August. The demolition of the building would happen after that process is completed.
Engen said repairs on the building were estimated to cost over $1 million. The demolition of the building would cost about $200,000.