COUNCIL: Future of Quimby Village, Clyde Theatre looks bright in preliminary vote

March 3rd, 2016

News Coverage:

March 2, 2016

COUNCIL: Future of Quimby Village, Clyde Theatre looks bright in preliminary vote

Jen Danczak | 21Alive

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (21Alive) --- The future looks bright for the Quimby Village plaza, particularly the long-standing vacant Clyde Theatre.

An ordinance to help spruce up Quimby Village received a "do-pass" at Tuesday’s city council meeting.

The resolution will put tax-incremental financing (TIF) money towards the future public infrastructure improvements at Quimby Village: such as sidewalks, parking access, pedestrian access and public safety improvements. It would capture future property taxes and reinvest the funds into those improvements.

Rick Kinney, local millennial entrepreneur and President of Even Keel Event Productions, bought the vacant theatre in May 2012 after the Clyde Theatre closed its doors in 1994.

Kinney plans to bring "The Clyde" back as a multipurpose event venue, including a standing-room-only concert hall to hold a maximum of 2,200 people.

"While living in Fort Wayne, I have traveled to other cities to go to concerts because many acts won’t play unless it’s a standing-room general admission venue,” says Kinney. “I knew I wanted to buy this building [Clyde Theatre] and bring those acts to our area.”

Kinney also plans to have the 21,000+ square foot building hold private or public events, such as weddings, receptions, corporate events, fundraisers, etc.

The 34-year-old says The Clyde could open its’ doors as early as December 2016, and be a riverfront destination in the summer of 2017… “as long as all the financing continues to go well.”

With an overall 7-to-2 vote in favor of the ordinance, most council members say the building, once renovated, will be a big hit for Quimby.

"Situations like the Quimby TIF are exactly what these incentives were originally intended for," says Republican Councilman At-Large Michael Barranda at Tuesday’s meeting.

Other council members disagree.

“I am all for supporting Quimby Village,” says District 1 Councilman, Paul Ensley. “In this case, there was a strong suggestion that these funds would be used for public private partnerships to solicit regional cities money, and things of that nature. That's what I was opposed to.”

The nine council members will have a final vote on the ordinance Tuesday, March 9.