Old Garden Theater Brought to Life by $12M Redevelopment Project
- Apr 30, 2012
By Veronica Grecu, Associate Editor
One of Detroit’s first neighborhood theaters, the historic Garden Theater built in 1912 by famed architect C. Howard Crane, has embarked on a multi-million redevelopment program, reports The Huffington Post.
During the first decades of the past century the art venue on Woodward Avenue was one of the largest and most visited theaters outside the downtown area. It was used for live stage performances and motion pictures until 1949, when it was closed for a short period of time and then reopened as a nightclub, according to Cinema Treasures. It also functioned as an adult venue for a while. The theater’s glorified years came to an end in the 1960s with the decline of the entire Cass Corridor, a once bohemian artery parallel with Woodward Avenue, which runs north towards Detroit’s suburban neighborhoods. Since early 2000 the building has been occupied by a coffee house.
With the help of a $750,000 incentive offered by the Michigan Strategic Fund, an additional $250,000 loan from the Casino Loan Fund and a portion of a state brownfield tax credit of $2.2 million, developer Woodward Theater LLC will start the work on a 32,505-square-foot arts and entertainment venue project that is estimated to create 84 new fulltime jobs. Private investments and donations will make up for the rest of the amount.
The redevelopment project at the theater comes with a name change, reports The Huffington Post. The renovated Woodward Theater will have a capacity of up to 1,300 seats and will also serve as conference space for businesses and professionals.
According to the Detroit News, the Garden Theater renovation project is the third phase of a mixed-use development on the 3900 block of Woodward Avenue.
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