Council President Lisa Rasmussen calls the theater an important “shot in the arm” that will bring energy to the downtown area.
After months of debate, it’s official: Wausau soon will have a downtown movie theater. The city council on Tuesday voted 8-3 to approve Micon Cinemas’ plan to demolish the former Sears space connected to the Wausau Center mall, making way for the 10-screen theater. Romey Wagner, Dennis Smith and Becky McElhaney voted against the plan, voicing constituent concerns over city spending.
Wausau will grant Micon a $1 million forgivable loan, though the developer will invest $10 million in the new building. The loan will be forgiven only if the building’s value is at least $6 million when complete, which would add an estimated $2 million to the city’s tax base, officials said. The fair market value of the Sears building in 2016 was $3.9 million. The city has purchased the property from Sears for $650,000 and basically will transfer it to Micon.
Council President Lisa Rasmussen calls the theater an important “shot in the arm” that will bring energy to the downtown area. The project also includes around 12,000 square feet of commercial space to lease to other businesses, plus an outdoor plaza. Hoeft Builders and local subcontractors are expected to begin the work this spring, with the theater opening in spring 2018.