A! Magazine for the Arts

Rick Rose makes a presentation in Mount Airy.

Rick Rose makes a presentation in Mount Airy.

Barter Theatre asked to expand to Mount Airy

February 28, 2018

The City of Mount Airy, North Carolina, is looking to develop the former Spencer’s Mill industrial property downtown, and asked Barter Theatre to expand operations. The plans call for a 500-seat Barter Theatre branch to be developed on the former Spencer’s property. Other facilities include a four-star hotel, banquet center and retail spaces.

Mac McCarley, an attorney out of Charlotte, North Carolina, is assisting Mount Airy in redeveloping the Spencer’s property. He explained that the letter of intent between Mount Airy and Barter Theatre is not binding and is only a draft agreement. The details of that agreement include a 20-year deal with the purpose of bringing economic development, overnight stays, and tourism dollars to Mount Airy.

This agreement entails that the city of Mount Airy would finance and construct the theater, assist with maintenance and repair of the building and provide public parking.

Barter Theatre would be required to have 250 performances per year and cover all costs of productions of performances and costs of managing and operating the facility.

McCarley explained that the majority of this project will be paid for using new market tax credits, state mill tax credits, and federal historic tax credits. After tax credits $5.2 million is still needed to fund the project. Barter Theatre will raise $2 million, leaving the city a cost of about $3.5 million. McCarley stated, “You get a $13.5 million theater, capital cost, for a $3.5 million cost to the city, that’s why this project will work.”