The Northwest Neighborhood Cultural Center board wants to sell its 106-year-old national landmark building at 1819 NW Everett St. to the Northwest Children’s Theater, the building’s main tenant since 1993.
A NWNCC special membership meeting is scheduled for March 23 to approve the sale, which requires a two-thirds majority to pass. Preliminary terms of the sale are not being released by either organization, but board members have said the price would be $1.
The Children’s Theater would also be obligated to make seismic upgrades estimated to cost about $5 million to gain title to the property.
A 2006 attempt by the same parties to sell the building for $2.1 million fell short of the supermajority standard as 56 percent voted for it.
NWNCC board member Dan Volkmer said the sale would fulfill a mission statement passed by the board in 2015. That mission includes preserving the building and supporting the NWCT’s efforts to purchase it for an undetermined price with “a minimum level of continued use for public purposes, arts and culture, and approval of a management plan to maintain the building.”
A number of former NWNCC board members are opposing the transaction, and three are seeking election to the board at its annual meeting, to be held Thursday, Feb. 23, 7 p.m., at the NNCC. Those candidates are F. Gordon Allen, Dan Anderson and Don Genasci.
They will run against a board-nominated slate of Susanna Duke, John Tess and Laura Marney.
Allen, who is a former legal counsel to NWNCC, told the Examiner that the property has been appraised for about $3.5 million, and a sale for $1 does not compensate the its owners—members of the surrounding neighborhoods—for their investment and stewardship of the center in the 40 years since its acquisition.
“If the Children’s Theater wants to buy it for $1, then what the Children’s Theater is asking the neighborhoods to do is make a $3.5 million contribution to the NWCT.”
To become a member of the Northwest Neighborhood Cultural Center, individuals must be at least 18 and live, own property or represent a business in the following neighborhood association boundaries: Arlington Heights, Goose Hollow, Hillside, Linnton, Northwest Industrial or Northwest District.
For a membership application, visit: sites.google.com/site/nwnccorg/home/membership or search “Northwest Neighborhood Cultural Center.”