Kannapolis alters Swanee Theatre agreements with West Ave Entertainment, LLC
Published 12:05 am Wednesday, October 25, 2023
KANNAPOLIS — During their Oct. 23 meeting, the Kannapolis City Council voted to modify the purchase and operational agreements for the Swanee Theatre. The theater was included as an asset when Kannapolis commenced with the purchase of the downtown area in 2015.
In 2021, West Ave Entertainment, LLC agreed to renovate, restore and purchase the theatre from the city and reopen it as a “multipurpose entertainment venue.” Kannapolis had given WAE a $950,000 loan for the construction costs, which was going to be paid back at the time when WAE would have purchased the theatre from the city. Even though the renovations have been completed and the Swanee Theatre is currently open and operational, WAE will not be going through with the purchase due to “business-related reasons” according to City Manager Mike Legg.
In order to keep the theatre in business, the city will be reimbursing West Ave Entertainment for what it put in to renovating the theater and Kannapolis will continue to oversee it as a parks and recreation facility. Combining all the expenses for the theatre, the reimbursement agreement totals $1,347,825. Legg says this figure is “extraordinarily fair” and that the theatre was “very efficiently constructed.” The money for this project comes from the city’s fund balance and was already incorporated in their revised capital plan, now with altered terms.
Starting Nov. 1, all expenditures will be the city’s responsibility, but all revenues will go towards Kannapolis. The operating cost for the Swanee Theatre is $12,500 per month. Over the next eight months, Swanee Entertainment LLC will run the Swanee Theatre on a day-to-day basis. At the end of that time period, the city is going to analyze all possibilities regarding the future of the theater. However, the Swanee Theatre no longer acting as an entertainment venue is an option that will not be examined.
“It has been a pleasure to see the Swanee Theatre come to life once again. I have enjoyed several concerts there and am looking forward to many more. The renovations by West Ave Entertainment have made this historic building a vibrant place to be enjoyed,” Mayor Darrell Hinnant said.