Flint's Capitol Theatre owner says he will submit renovation funding plan by deadline

FLINT, MI — The owner of the downtown Capitol Theatre says he will meet a state deadline for submitting plans to finance renovations of the historic property.

Owner Troy Farah said he and other boosters of the project, which aims to raise $10 million, will turn information over to the Michigan State Housing Development Authority by Feb. 14.

A $500,0000 grant from MSHDA is tied to Farah’s ability to raise $9.5 million elsewhere, a task he said is still in progress.

A MSHDA spokeswoman said in an email to The Flint Journal that the agency will review the Capitol plan and decide whether its $500,000 grant will be a part of that funding mix.

“We have a Feb. 14 date to provide MSHDA with our progress to date on our funding sources,” Farah said. “We will be providing them with an explanation of that and hope that satisfies their needs.”

In May, when the MSHDA grant was announced, a state official said that Farah had just four months to secure the $9.5 million with letters of commitment, but that deadline was later extended.

Because of the timing for other potential funding source, including federal historic tax credits and New Market tax credits, Farah needs a special provision from MSHDA to reserve its funding until those grants are awarded in April at the earliest.

Farah declined to discuss details of the proposal for raising the funds needed for the Capitol project but said he has “identified our potential sources and are in the process of (those) hopefully being finalized.”

MSHDA identified those sources previously as $2 million in funding from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, $2 million in federal historic tax credits, $2 million in New Market tax credits, $2.5 million from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and $1 million in various funding sources from the nonprofit Uptown Reinvestment Corporation in addition to MSHDA’s $500,000.

Farah would also invest an undisclosed amount on top of the $10 million.

Although no grant from the Mott Foundation had been announced as of this week, a spokeswoman said in December that the project has “the potential to be another exciting piece” of efforts to revitalize downtown Flint.

Farah said he sees the restoration of the Capitol as a “tipping point catalyst” for downtown with the potential to be “the Fox Theater of Flint.”

Built in 1928, the Capitol Theatre was a premiere entertainment venue in mid-Michigan for decades but needs millions in renovations and upgrades. It has been a home to various businesses over the years and is anchored by a 2,000-seat, 25,000-square-foot theater.

Original article by Ron Fonger for MLive.
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