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Downtown theater negotiations continue

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WAUSAU — A downtown movie theater that expected to break ground between April and June is in the final stages of negotiation, nearly six months after city leaders approved a $1 million forgivable loan to support the project.

In an email to Wausau Pilot & Review, Economic Development Director Chris Schock said the cinema layout refinements are nearly complete. Members of the economic development committee on Tuesday received the latest draft of the plan, which will transfer property formerly owned and occupied by Sears to Micon Cinemas. The property is attached to the Wausau Center mall and has been vacant since Sears closed the store nearly a year ago.

One of the final details still awaiting approval is a plan for demolition and construction that affects a wall shared between the Sears building and the mall. Once those negotiations are complete, Schock said, the city will schedule a closing date on the real estate and demolition will begin.

The original plan called for a breezeway that would connect the troubled mall with the new theater. That plan has changed, with the new renderings showing an open plaza between the buildings.

 

“This is a process, but it is nearing completion,” Schock wrote.

Micon, a family-owned theater company with three theaters in Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls, plans a 10-screen complex for the building and is expected to invest roughly $10 million into the project. Wausau bought the Sears building last year for $650,000.

 

 

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