Theater property sale to support economic development projects
SOUDERTON » The exact uses for the money Souderton Borough gets from selling the Broad Theater property aren’t yet known, but the money will be set aside for economic development purposes, officials said at Souderton Borough Council’s Nov. 13 work session meeting.
The borough became the theater’s owner after
previous owner Broad Entertainment LP defaulted on a $500,000 loan made to it through the borough using state grant money and there were no bidders
on the property when it went to sheriff sale earlier this year.
If the loan had been repaid, the money would have been required to go into a borough fund to create a revolving loan fund for future economic development projects.
The borough now plans
to do the same thing with the money from the sale of the theater, Borough Manager Mike Coll said.
One of the ways the money could be used is for gap financing — loans given to help fill gaps between the financing and loans a prospective new business has and the amount needed to do the project — council member Jeff Gross said.
The money could also be used for borough economic development work, such as expanding a parking lot, he said.
“It’s all about revitalization,” Gross said.
Under the original plan, interest payments on the loan were planned to be
used to help fund Souderton’s portion of Souderton-Telford Main Streets, council President Brian Goshow said. Those interest payments will not now be received, but some of the money from the sale could be used for Main Streets funding, he said.
At its Nov. 6 meeting, the council approved a $250,000 bid from Davood and Davide Sowhangar, the father-and-son owners of Broad Street Pizza, to buy the portion of the theater project in the adjoining building to the theater. They plan to move Broad Street Pizza into the building, along with having other commercial uses rent
part of the building.
Discussion of the specifications for putting the theater itself out for bids will take place at a work session in January, council decided at the Nov. 13 work session.
In October, Kyle Hoff, who has restored old industrial buildings including the one in which Broad Street Grind opened earlier this year, outlined plans to restore and reopen the theater. The plans include connections to the adjacent building and businesses there, Hoff and the Sowhangars have said.
In a separate matter at the Nov. 13 meeting, Public Works Director Steve Coll said this year’s Christmas
decorations in the borough will include new 6-foot-high snowflake LED lights.
The decorations were provided by the borough’s Business Improvement District, Mike Coll said.
A work order has been put in with PPL Electric for additional electric fixtures for the new lights, Steve Coll said. He said he’s not sure yet when that work will be done, so he doesn’t know if all 32 of the new snowflakes will be up this year, but the borough already has a dozen of the fixtures that were previously used for cedar tree holiday light decorations.
There are also 20 new banners, he said.
Souderton Borough Council has announced proceeds from the sale of the Broad Street Theater will support economic development projects in the borough.