Peoria’s historic downtown Madison Theater has a $30M+ renovation prepare

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PEORIA — If Peoria-location inhabitants and others anxious about the Madison Theater want to save it, they’ll probably need to have to donate a full of about $10 million.

The money would be aspect of the $30 million to $35 million it probably will just take to renovate the extensive-dormant landmark in Downtown Peoria, in accordance to a team that plans to think control of it.

If the plan is fulfilled, the theater produced in 1920 at Main Road and Madison Avenue will reopen in the spring of 2024. It’s to be aspect of a complicated that incorporates a nicely-known Peoria cafe.

Earlier:Right after getting closed for 18 several years in Downtown Peoria, the Madison Theater might return to everyday living

Among other points, the renewed facility would be capable to participate in host to concerts, non-public occasions, dwell theater and movement shots old and new.

The final two needs were first ones for the Madison. It opened for the duration of an era when downtown theaters have been plentiful, and Peoria was a big quit on the vaudeville circuit.

“It was designed as a motion picture palace, and it’s the very last one particular we have still left,” Peoria-spot thespian Lee Wenger mentioned. “It would be good to have one particular matter that played in Peoria when that was a major deal.”

Wenger is between seven members of the recently designed, not-for-gain Madison Preservation Affiliation. Public curiosity in the Madison’s fate suggests the affiliation plan is practical, according to the group’s chairman.

“The response from the city is too much to handle. They want to preserve the building,” regional genuine estate broker Eric Heard stated. “They want the setting up to be alive. No person desires it torn down.

“We consider we’ve located the appropriate vehicle to bring it back to lifestyle with this approach.”

Retail portion will price $1.3 million to acquire

The initial stage in that method is to purchase retail frontage along Key Road from the Comfort spouse and children have confidence in, the longtime proprietor of the Madison.

In June, relatives spokesman J.D. Consolation said an unidentified social gathering was interested in rehabilitating the facility. City officers requested the Madison closed about 18 yrs in the past, in the course of its time as a dwell-music location, since of code violations for hearth and safety.

A retail-part acquire arrangement for $1.3 million is in put, according to Read, and is predicted to develop into final by the end of 2021.

Most of the retail place is to be occupied on both its stages by Two25 Restaurant, prolonged a staple at the Mark Twain Resort in Downtown Peoria. Two25 shut there before this calendar year, according to proprietor Phil Caplis.

Also:A Peoria cafe options to go to the Madison Theater building. What to know

The Comforts approach to donate the theater portion of the developing to the not-for-financial gain association. The retail part is to be obtained and designed by a individual group that is made up of association users.

It is an abnormal arrangement. But it can help facilitate eventual not-for-profit management of the full sophisticated, according to association member Jeff Giebelhausen, a neighborhood developer and former East Peoria mayor.

“We wanted to occur up with money rapidly to purchase the Comforts out,” he mentioned. “The swiftest way to do it is to build a for-financial gain entity, go to some local buyers and say, ‘Hey, let’s ante up, let us buy this,’ being aware of that we’re likely to offer this at effectively no financial gain to the theater when they get finished elevating their individual cash.”

Fundraising for the theater is envisioned to acquire until finally mid-2022, Giebelhausen reported. Renovation then would start off, and it would past about 18 months. Most of the renovation money is to occur from federal and condition historic tax credits.

A lot more:This tax credit score gave Peoria a $214M deal with-lift. What is actually upcoming just after its extension?

“Peoria is a quite, really benevolent neighborhood,” Giebelhausen claimed when asked if he thought his group would raise the needed donations. “The reality that the Comforts are donating the theater is incredible benevolence on their component. Our 1st charitable donation is a large a person.”

The part of the making that houses Hoops Pub and Pizza, 516 Key St., is owned individually and is not element of the renovation system. Subsequent doorway is The Neon Bison, a bar that opened last year. The rest of the retail house is inactive.

Giebelhausen said there might be more than enough put up-renovation area for The Neon Bison to stay, but the association is not committing to that possibly way.

Interior has peeling paint, fallen ceilings

The building’s structural ailment is sound, according to association associates. Injury from an arson hearth in 2016 wasn’t in depth.

Inside images taken about three months back uncovered peeling paint and fallen ceilings, among the other challenges. Giebelhausen thinks they can be fixed.

“You see uncovered metal and rebar from the place there is some deterioration, but then you seem at other components, and it is like, ‘Wow, this is awesome, and there is no explanation this needs to go away,’” he explained.

A 1,600-seat Madison can complement the Civic Centre Theater and the below-renovation Scottish Rite Theatre, according to Listened to. Both these amenities are situated in close proximity to the Madison, whose potential would be smaller sized than the Civic Heart but much larger than the Scottish Rite.

A lot more:Get a sneak peek inside of the $5M renovation of Peoria’s Scottish Rite Cathedral

Giebelhausen stated a refurbished Madison has obtained commitments from various community theater and audio teams. He declined to recognize them publicly.

Also in close proximity to the Madison are 4 Details by Sheraton and the Marriott Pere Marquette sophisticated, important downtown resorts that have been produced or refurbished lately. Caplis advised the Madison can support fill some of these rooms or at the very least offer amusement for all those previously lodged there.

“There is certainly some old structures in downtown that they’re attempting to transform that want to be torn down. We do require some new points downtown. But the Madison just isn’t one particular of all those,” Caplis mentioned. “It’s obtained fantastic bones. It truly is bought wonderful history.

“Peoria always has been this big option. I’ve read that around and above, what an possibility Peoria is. But it seems like by some means we never ever take advantage of all the chances.”

Additional:What is actually the eyesight for Peoria’s downtown? How extra inhabitants there may well spark a revival

Giebelhausen and his fellow association users say they can’t resist the chance to reopen a developing long regarded publicly as a prospective dropped induce.

“Right now, you see this stretch of Major Avenue all through the day or in the night, and you comprehend what a downer it is for the relaxation of downtown,” he said. “Everybody wishes to do anything specific. This is some thing particular.”

Future possibilities to search inside of

The Madison Preservation Affiliation programs to participate in host to excursions of the Madison Theater developing, located at Principal Avenue and Madison Avenue in Peoria. The tours are to past about two hrs and include things like a quick overview of the renovation venture.

Tours open to the community are scheduled to commence at 11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Aug. 19 and at 11:30 a.m. Aug. 28. Refreshments are to be provided. To RSVP, phone (309) 431-1612 or email

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