ABOVE: Rendering of Tavares Performing Arts Center
A new performing arts center is one step closer to becoming a reality in downtown Tavares. During a City Council Meeting in May, members heard input from residents and ultimately decided to let the voters decide in November whether to proceed with the entertainment venue.
The proposed project, estimated in a study to cost approximately $27 million, would be located in downtown’s entertainment district near restaurants and the lakefront. The capacity would be between 650 and 800, and the Center would have its own parking garage. By comparison, Bob Carr Theatre in Orlando has 2518 seats and Mount Dora Community Building has 618 seats and no nearby garage.
The City of Tavares will now be determining the wording for the referendum and how to fund the project which will likely be a bond referendum repaid by taxes and ticket sales. If passed, the center’s operating costs would be paid by taxes and ticket sales. A rule of thumb is that most performing arts centers are able to cover fifty percent of operating and maintenance and require a fifty percent subsidy for the balance, according to John Drury, Tavares City Administrator, who believes the project would improve the quality of life and economic conditions in the City. A rendering by Haskell Consultants shows a modern venue with a fountain in front and architecture that complements the nearby City Hall.
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