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NorShor Skywalk Approved, Most Project Money Secured

September 24, 2014 10:47 PM

It may not look like it from the outside, but a lot of work is being done to restore Duluth's NorShor Theatre.

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Folks from the Duluth Playhouse and Sherman Associates gave an update to the Duluth Economic Development Authority Wednesday night. Commissioners also unanimously approved a $300,000 loan for a skywalk to the NorShor.

"Right now, we have about $21 million of it committed," George Sherman said. "We will be borrowing some money to fund the total gap."

It's a $25 million project and fundraising efforts will play a part in securing the rest of the money.

"We're out to raise the $4.5 million so we can have all the tools and toys we need to produce theater and live entertainment," Christine Seitz said.

The NorShor team is also waiting on final paperwork including the State Historic Approval of their drawings. That has been submitted but takes 60 days to review. Sherman also said they're working out contract negotiations and final bids.

"We are hoping it will be open in May 2016 for summertime performances," Sherman said.

Those performances will include all the arts. The NorShor will be a community space as well.

"The NorShor will not and can never compete with the tours that come into the DECC," Seitz said. "It's not big enough."

Instead, it will host mid-sized shows. The NorShor will seat 700 people and Seitz said that's something Duluth needs.

"It will be the masterpiece for our downtown and will certainly be a home many of our arts groups have been longing for," Seitz said.

Seitz said they've already raised $600,000 for the NorShor. They hope to break ground at the end of the year.


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