City and Enchanted Playhouse Agreement Accepted
The Enchanted Playhouse Theatre Company has agreed to pay $12,500 in back rent to the City of Visalia, and to vacate the Main Street Theatre by January 31, 2019. This agreement is pursuant to a Stipulated Entry of Judgement that was accepted by the Tulare County Superior Court today.
The Theatre Company is also required to pay $2,000 per month in rent by the first of every month through January.
This court judgement comes as part of a settlement that was agreed to by both parties in response to the City’s having to file an Unlawful Detainer Action on the Theatre Company for back rent.
Vice Mayor Bob Link indicated that it was gratifying that the City’s legal position was upheld, but he said it appears this legal action may not be the last.
“We made an offer to waive the back rent as well as future rent through January 2019 if there was no further legal action,” said the Vice Mayor. “That would have meant about $21,000 in net benefit for the Theatre Company that they could have used to continue Children’s Theatre in this area. Unfortunately, they declined that offer, which we believe sends a strong signal that they intend to file additional legal action against the City.”
At the Theatre Company’s request, the City also agreed to delay the move out date an additional 30 days. The original notice of lease termination was August, 2018, it was then extended until December 31, 2018, and now stands at January 31, 2019. The Theatre Company currently has events planned at the Main Street Theatre through December 15, 2018 and indicated they needed additional time to transition to a new facility.
The City of Visalia issued a Request for Proposal to solicit offers for the Main Street Theatre in February of 2018. The Enchanted Playhouse Theatre Company did not submit a proposal by the deadline, and several months after the deadline, made a public plea to the City Council for more time to submit a proposal.
At the request of theatre company board members, the Council provided the Theatre Company with the additional time and again outlined the parameters the proposal needed to meet, including a minimum bid amount and a viable financing plan that did not include the City providing financing. The Theatre Company’s offer letter was non-specific as to price, and required the City to finance an interest only loan for five years. After reviewing the offer letter, the Council informed the Theatre Company that their proposal was far below the minimum requirements and considered it non-responsive.
The City has a viable cash offer of $515,000 for the building from a local business firm that is prepared to close the sale in the near future.