City finalizes purchase of the Chateau — now what should we do with it?
(THE MED CITY BEAT) - The Rochester City Council approved the acquisition of the Chateau Theatre Monday night — kicking off what should be months of discussion over what to do with the historic building.
If this sounds familiar, that's because the council voted early last month to tentatively pursue the purchase of the theater. The city wanted to hold off until the Destination Medical Center Board signed off on the project, which they did at a meeting on April 30.
Receiving DMC approval was a prerequisite for acquiring the 88-year-old building. The city can now count its $5.5 million investment in the theater toward its $128 million contribution to DMC (the Mayo Clinic is providing the remaining $500,000 of the $6 million price tag).
The future use will be determined following opportunities for public input. City Council President Randy Staver recently told the Med City Beat that the process will involve feedback from several stakeholders including the arts community, the Mayo Clinic and the general public.
"I think one thing we will need to be careful of is that we not become inundated with ideas — some of which may not be practical from a facility or expense perspective — which in turn clouds progress," said Staver.
Built in 1927 as a live-performance and movie house, the theater has sat empty since the end of last year when Barnes and Nobles moved out.
Once its use is determined, it could take several million dollars to renovate.