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East County Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018 2 years ago

The Players' theater in Sarasota closes its sale

The $9.5 million will allow The Players to move ahead on its Waterside Place complex.
by: Jay Heater Managing Editor

Saying it took more time and effort than expected, Jeffery Kin took a celebratory sigh Tuesday afternoon and announced The Players Centre for Performing Arts had sold its Sarasota theater.

A still anonymous buyer purchased the aging theater and parcel at 838 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota for $9.5 million.

"It's time for us to get going now," Kin said.

He was talking about fundraising efforts as The Players turns its full attention to building its $30 million complex at Lakewood Ranch's new Waterside Place.

Schroeder-Manatee Ranch is breaking ground at Waterside Place on Thursday and expects to have the entertainment hub operating by 2020. The Players Centre for Performing Arts probably won't be open until 2021, but Kin said if everything goes perfectly, a fall of 2020 opening remains possible.

He said the $9.5 million will allow architects and builders to go full steam ahead.

An insurance glitch prevented the sale from closing on Monday as scheduled, but it was worked out late Tuesday.

An initial buyer for the theater pulled out July 10 but the current buyer already was in line in case something happened. It did.

Kin said the new buyer also agreed to a two-year lease for $1 per year that was going to allow The Players to remain in its current home for most of the time their $30 million complex is being built.

"With the first buyers, we were going to need to move out next May," Kin said. "Likely, we are not going to need to float for more than a year (while the new complete is built). We're in our 89th season right now and it appears we will have our 90th season in this building."

Real estate agent Ian Black of Ian Black Real Estate handled the sale of the property with Jag Grewal, CCIM, partner at Ian Black Real Estate handling the sale for the buyer.

"We have been through a bit of a ride with the sale of our property, but it’s only to be expected,” Kin said in a release. “Now, we are happy to say that we not only were able to close on the sale of our property, but that the new owner asked us to stay. So, speaking for the creative side of The Players, we are thrilled. We now have the money to invest in the design of our new building and we have a home until September of 2020."



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