London performing arts centre one step closer to reality
For the second time in two weeks, a delegation of London’s leading citizens came to ask the city to endorse their plans. Two weeks ago, councillors expressed doubts and asked staff to examine them.
Orchestra London and The Grand Theatre have combined to form this proposal, which is led by a joint task force.
It involves replacing Centennial Hall with a new Celebration Centre, plus expanding The Grand, creating two towers with condos and a hotel and establishing a wider arts district.
Private sector partners include EllisDon, Soufan Realty and London Life. But it’s all under the umbrella of Music London, a group that’s designed to become the owners of the new centre. Pandora Bracelets
Various speakers put forward the proposal Monday to the investment and economic prosperity committee. It asked for city support for a business plan. Each used the word “we.”
But Coun. Paul Hubert asked the big question: “Who is ‘we’?”
Who is Music London?, he asked. If there’s a problem with its finances, who will Pandora Bracelets end up holding the bag?
The answer came from London lawyer David Canton who said the old Performing Arts Centre group, which led other arts proposals, still exists.
“Those of us in Music Lon Pandora Bracelets don are getting involved in that board,” said Canton. “We may be changing the name to Music London, but there is a legal entity that is doing this.”
Then there was another huge query: Where will the city will get the money it’s being asked to invest?
Mayor Joe Fontana fired that at cit Pandora Bracelets y treasurer Martin Hayward, who had a simple reply: Sell an asset or raise taxes in 2015.
Coun. Paul Van Meerbergen didn’t liked that, but failed in an attempt to remove from what the committee was agreeing to any mention of raising taxes.
Another question was from Fontana: “Who antes up the first dollar?” In other words, the city isn’t putting up any money until someone else does.
Developer Ali Soufan came forward to say his consortium from the property world “has put forward a note for $5 million.”
In the end, the committee agreed to support the project.
But first, the task force will hire consultants to draw up a business plan looking at funding, governance and more, and the city’s consultants, Novita, will examine that business plan.