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On Nov. 5, the Lansing City Council unanimously approved a resolution setting a public hearing for the sale of the Miller Street Center, which has housed the Peppermint Creek Theatre Co. since 2013.
After the city solicited bids in July, the Capital Area Soccer League, or CASL, was selected as the new owner of the facility after they offered $125,000 — with $25,000 down and $10,000 in annual payments for 10 years. The nearly 6,000 square-foot property was appraised for $155,000 in 2016.
Once a closing date is set, CASL will begin a 120-day window to boot Peppermint Creek from the building.
“We absolutely will not disrupt their season and their schedule,” CASL executive director Scott M. Dane said.
CASL needed to have a dedicated office space and the timing seemed right to make the move for the Miller Street Center in July, Dane said.
Some in the theater community have reservations.
“Artistic space, particularly performing arts space, is difficult to find — even in the right circumstances,” said Joseph Dickson, director of Over the Ledge Theatre Co. “When one is weakened by something like his, it negatively affects us all.”
Rob Roznowski, a director with the MSU Department of Theatre, worked with the Peppermint Creek on its latest production “Framing Device.”
This will change things, Roznowski said. “It takes enough to open, start, run and create the infrastructure for a theater. When something closes, it is always a difficult process.”
If looked at purely monetarily, the sale of the Miller Street Center is a fair transaction, Roznowski said. “If we were to look at it from an aesthetic point of view of how the arts are valued in the city — that is the bigger question to me as an artist.”
But Roznowski said he is confident Peppermint Creek will land on its feet.
“Before this, they’ve been nomadic, like a lot of theater companies, in trying to find the right space. It is also incumbent for people in the arts to help.”