Former Lincoln Park Adult Movie Theater Goes Residential
By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor
Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency (WMCAA), a non-profit organization that provides youth and family services and homeless prevention programs to low- and moderate-income individuals and families in Wayne County, is breaking ground this month on a new mixed-use development that would replace the once famous Park Theater in the City of Lincoln Park.
Designed by architect C. Howard Crane as a 600-seat art venue, the historic structure was completed in 1925 and has had various uses over the years. It served as a movie theater from its opening until the 1970s, then it became a concert venue for nearly ten years. For almost three decades, from the 1980s to 2008, it ran adult movies and peep shows.
As previously reported by The News-Herald, WMCAA purchased the building from the Hustler Club for $1 in 2008 following a lawsuit settlement between the City of Lincoln Park and Larry Flint’s adult entertainment chain. After also acquiring the vacant land owned by Memphis-based auto parts and accessories retailer AutoZone, WMCAA contracted Sarnacki & Associates Architects Inc. of Wyandotte and started working on a multimillion dollar redevelopment project aiming to convert the vacant property into 12 residential lofts with two retail spaces on the ground floor.
According to WMCAA, the project will cost $11.7 million and the funds are a combination of tax credits and grants coming from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Corporation for Supportive Housing, Key Bank, Michigan Department of Human Services, National Equity Fund, Inc., and the City of Lincoln Park’s Downtown Development Authority. The project also calls for a second residential building with 26 rental units that will be developed behind the theater. Both buildings are expected to be completed by the end of 2013.
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Rendering of Lincoln Park Lofts courtesy of Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency