4th Avenue Theatre will stay standing, at least for now
Once considered among the most luxurious theatres west of the Mississippi River, the Fourth Avenue Theatre now sits empty and boarded up.
It’s been this way since the late 2000s. People often question what will become of the downtown landmark. At the Anchorage Assembly meeting on Tuesday night, Municipal Attorney Bill Falsey gave an update.
“There was a recent development that occurred late yesterday when contractors retained by the owners of the Fourth Avenue Theatre went to the permit center and sought a permit to demolish the Fourth Avenue Theatre,” Falsey told Assembly members.
After the announcement came a new push to save the theatre.
“We simply do not have very much significant architectural history and I’m glad we’re at least trying to preserve this,” Assemblyman Eric Croft said.
Members approved an emergency ordinance that gives them 60 days to decide how buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including the theatre, should be treated.
“Today, there is no public process associated with the demolition of historic buildings within the municipality at all,” Falsey said.
The theatre is owned by Peach Investments, which recently obtained a demolition permit for the Northern Lights Hotel in midtown. Our calls to the developer were not returned but Falsey told the Assembly he was able to connect with them.
“I am happy to report that we were told that there are no plans to imminently demolish the building,” Falsey said.
Before applying for a demolition permit, the owners at Peach Investment wanted to develop the Fourth Avenue Theatre into a residential and office tower with a shopping mall but the municipality denied their request for a multi-million dollar tax break.
However, Tuesday night the municipality formed a special committee to work with the owners to save the Fourth Avenue Theatre.
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