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Bellevue Extends Marianne Theater Development

The City of Bellevue will extend its memorandum of understanding with the development team behind plans to transform the historic Marianne Theater into a brewery.

At Wednesday's city council meeting, an executive session took place after general business was conducted, and afterwards, council reconvened to authorize Mayor Ed Riehl to extend the MOU for a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of 90 days.

It was nearly one year ago, in September 2015, that developer Kent Hardman's plans for the iconic theater were announced. "I remember driving Fairfield Avenue two years ago and I saw the Marianne and I pulled a u-turn and said, what in the world is that? The front of the building is so cool. I think it's one of the coolest front of a building I've ever seen," Hardman told RCN last year.

His body of work included the renovation of the old Jackson Theater in Cincinnati's Columbia-Tusculum neighborhood and the redevelopment of an old firehouse in Walnut Hills, which houses Fireside Pizza and Hardman's personal residence.

The City of Bellevue purchased the landmark in 2014 for $138,000 and formed a task force to evaluate possible redevelopment ideas. With help from the Catalytic Fund to evaluate the request for proposals from developers, Hardman's project was chosen.

Other notes:

  • Plans for a proposed tax increment finance (TIF) district in the city will be presented at a public meeting on Thursday, August 19, at 7 p.m. at the Callahan Center. Councilman David Slater said that there has been "a lot of misunderstanding" about the proposed TIF. "One thing it won't do is raise your taxes," he said. Councilman Rodney Poynter added, "You need to read (KRS Chapter 99) and understand how it affects you and every property owner if this thing comes."
  • Tree Board member Kathy Barrett addressed council and asked why her board has not had a meeting since 2014. There have been no Arbor Day ceremonies in Bellevue, a place designated as a Tree City, USA, either, she said. "One of my neighbors applied for and paid for a tree and still hasnt gotten it," Barrett said. "If we had a tree board meeting since she paid for it, we might have it by now." City Administrator Keith Spoelker said he would call a meeting "in the near future".
  • The new Red Bike station installed at Fairfield and Ward Avenues had its electric installed on Tuesday, and now the wait is for Duke Energy to activate the pole. The station could be activated by the end of next week. It is the city's second Red Bike station, joining the first one at Port Bellevue.

-Michael Monks, editor & publisher

Photo: Interior of the Marianne Theater (RCN file)

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