4/23/2014 12:01:00 AM Group seeks to bring theater to downtown Harbor Springs
Charles O'Neill Editor
Downtown Harbor Springs may-- once again-- be home to a theater, if a local investor group can bring its plans to life.
According to a written statement provided to this newspaper, a group of individuals is "in the process of forming a non-profit 501(c)3 entity to be known as 'Harbor Springs Lyric Theatre." This not-for-profit event space will be organized exclusively for charitable educational purposes, and operating a community-supported and mission driven theater in Harbor Springs.
Harbor Springs resident and city council member Jeff James is serving as the spokesperson for the group.
"This year round venue will offer film, drama, musical arts and literature which will educate (and entertain) the public in cinematic, performing and literary arts. The theatre will enhance the cultural and intellectual life of the community," James said in the statement.
"Very soon this non-profit entity, Harbor Springs Lyric Theatre, will be actively soliciting the necessary funds to purchase, design, and renovate the existing structure to form a multi purpose theatre/stage for all to enjoy and bring much needed life back to downtown Harbor Springs," he said in the statement.
James confirmed in a separate email that the group has three adjacent (one building structure) condominium spots under contract to purchase. The three-condo building is on the north side of Main Street near the intersection of Main and Gardner Streets and currently houses Coolhouse Labs and two retail store locations.
Harbor Springs was once home to the Lyric Theatre, where the Outfitter is now located.
The concept was presented to the Harbor Springs Planning Commission last Thursday, April 24. Harbor Springs city manager Tom Richards explained that theaters are not addressed in the city zoning code for the Central Business District.
"We were a bit dumbfounded as we did, at one time, have a theater," Richards said.
The Planning Commission agreed to move forward in drafting a proposed ordinance to permit a theater as a use, and as another option, an ordinance that would allow it as a 'special land use'.
Richards said he expected the Commission to hold a public hearing at its meeting in May and possibly pass one of the options for review and consideration by the Harbor Springs City Council shortly thereafter.
Posted: Thursday, April 24, 2014
Article comment by:
I think that would be an awesome idea! This would bring a touch of culture to this town, which we need. As a resident of Harbor Springs and have 5 children this would give our family something new to do in the evenings. This would also help bring people to Harbor for events and which creates revenue to other locations!! Great Idea! Mike Naturkas