The Highland Town Council Monday night voted against a proposal to renovate the long vacant Town Theatre. The goal of the project was to create an arts and culture district in Highland, with hopes the renovated theatre would spur economic development in the area. The town council rejected the plans because of the high cost of the project. Director of Redevelopment Cecile Petro says there are now only two options left. The first is for a private contractor to purchase the theatre.
"If someone would like to purchase it, we know it will cost about 2.9 million dollars to renovate. And they would be welcome to do that," says Petro.
Petro says the second option, is demolition of the theatre and allowing developers to bid on the property.
"We will take that site and try to acquire as many properties as we can," Petro says. "And then invite developers to come in and create a mix-use area of both commercial and residential buildings."
Petro says the project wouldn't have come as far as it did without the support of volunteers who worked on on it, those who purchased memberships for a theatre that was just a vision, the many people who served on the redevelopment commissions, along with the town theatre board for their had work. The Redevelopment Commission has a meeting scheduled for Wednesday, February 8th, where Petro says--more discussion will be had on what's next for the property.