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Roseville City Council extends the deadline for selling downtown's Tower Theatre

The city says the cost of maintaining the theater outweighs the benefits.

ROSEVILLE, Calif. — Update Thursday morning:

The Roseville City Council unanimously approved the three-month extension to allow more time for the UDF to purchase the Tower Theatre at Wednesday night's meeting.

Original Story:

The Roseville City Council will discuss allowing the University Development Foundation (UDF) additional time to purchase the Tower Theatre at its Wednesday meeting.

The UDF is a nonprofit organization that is trying to bring a university to the region, specifically in Placer County. The organization previously had exclusive rights to purchase the Tower Theatre, but the agreement expired on Aug. 5, 2021.

Now, the UDF is requesting a new escrow period of three months to allow the organization time to plan its next steps and to purchase the venue. Wayne Wiley, the city of Roseville's Economic Development Manager, said the extension doesn't alter the terms of the original agreement.

The city wants to sell the venue because the cost of owning and maintaining the theater outweighs the amount of revenue that comes from renting out the venue to short-term tenants, according to the City Council agenda.

"The city's goal is to activate the Tower Theatre on a more permanent basis to really help add to the vibrancy of our downtown," Wiley said. "And so, if we can have folks in there utilizing the facility, holding different events — it's a stimulus to our downtown and to our downtown businesses."

The 16,000 square-foot theater was originally built in the 1940s and is located in Roseville's downtown core. Angelo Tsakopoulos donated the theater to the city in 1989 and as part of that deal, put restrictions on the deed. Those restrictions mean the theater can only be used to benefit the arts and couldn't be sold without Tsakopoulos' clearance, based on the document proposal to sell the venue to the UDF.

The city, Tsakopoulos and the UDF are involved in a long-term effort to create a private university with a campus near Roseville or in the surrounding area, according to the proposal. If the city council approves the extension, the UDF would have until Jan. 17, 2022, to purchase the property. The purchase price of the property would be $1.

According to the proposal, bringing a university to the area would utilize Roseville's Tower Theatre on a long-term basis and bring more traffic downtown, which could lead to increased support of downtown businesses and result in additional sales tax revenue.

Wiley said the Tower Theatre is part of the city's overarching goal to revitalize downtown Roseville, which includes a mix of entertainment options, housing developments and more.

The City Council meeting starts at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 6, and can be viewed virtually HERE.

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