Madcap Puppets soon to have new home

January 2, 2018 by  

Madcap Puppets, Cincinnati’s award-winning theater group, is one step closer to getting a new home, with the Cincinnati Park Board’s approval of leasing Westwood Town Hall Park to Cincinnati Landmark Productions (CLP). Landmark is aiming to create classrooms, a 120-seat theater, and a studio for the troupe in the old Cincinnati Bell Exchange Building.

Under the agreement, CLP would lease the Gaines Triangle and the Westwood Town Hall Park from Cincinnati Parks for 55 years. There are two projects put together in this agreement—the theater, and renovations of the park. Under the terms of the lease, CLP would then “own” the park and make improvements to it, which would qualify the organization for $9 million in federal and state New Market Tax Credits (NMTC).

To use the tax credits, CLP must “own” the properties where work is proposed. Since a long-term lease is considered ownership, it can go ahead, provided funding is available from the developer.

In 2014, Madcap Puppets received a $500,000 grant from the city; in 2015, the park was awarded $250,000 for renovations. Then, in 2016, an additional $4 million was awarded to the park. The $9 million in tax credits would allow work to go forward. It’s expected that bids will be generated in February, 2018, and the project could be completed as early as fall, 2018.

Projects like this are interesting to many, so officials might work with a newsletter printing company to create a letter for residents about progress on the renovations.