Construction halted on Wayne Theatre: Issues with loan

wtaConstruction on the renovation of the Wayne Theatre has been halted, with the Wayne Theatre Alliance, which is leading the $7 million-plus project to rebuild the Downtown Waynesboro landmark citing an issue with closing on a construction loan as being the key reason.

“There are any number of reasons the least being a changing landscape of IRS regulations that has made US Banc hesitant to move forward without numerous clarifications of tax law. The result is that we have been unable to provide guarantees to Mathers that we will have sufficient funds to pay for continued construction,” WTA chair Bill Hausrath informed supporters of the Wayne in an email on Friday.

mathers construction is overseeing the construction side of the project. As of Friday, the company has closed down its operations at the site on West Main Street, Hausrath said.

The Alliance had been gearing toward opening the 2015 season in February at the new theatre location after finishing up its third season at the Gateway Theatre in June. Hausrath said in his email to project supporters today that it appears that the opening will now be moved back to late spring 2015.

“In our meeting, we made it clear that we will put no more funds into the project until we have a guarantee from (Virginia Community Development Corp.) that we are going to closing,” Hausrath said. “This means that we will not have a certificate of occupancy this December and the project completion date is now early 2015 with opening in late spring of 2015.”

The focus in the here and now for the Alliance is keeping focused “on ways to raise the funds and not be distracted with the size of the challenge in front of us,” Hausrath said.

More on the Wayne Theatre project online at http://waynetheatre.org.

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