West Valley City sweetens the deal for Hale theater
Arts • City pledges to fund Hale repairs, shorten lease offer.
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West Valley City • Hale Centre Theatre is in the middle of a tug of war between Sandy and West Valley City for its future expansion.

On Tuesday, West Valley City sweetened the deal for the theater with a new lease amendment. The city has already approved the groundwork for Hale's repairs and expansion.

"We are very close result-wise with the landowner where expansion is planned at," said City Manager Wayne Pyle at a study meeting with council members Tuesday.

Hale's Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Brent Lang thanked the city for its recent presentation, saying "it was very well received" by the board. Lang also mentioned to a councilman earlier that the board wasn't expecting the city to offer as much as it did.

"You make for hard work on my behalf," Lang told the city Tuesday. "This amendment is huge for us."

The amendment won't be voted on until next week, but part of the plan offers Hale shorter lease agreements and, after 12 years, allows the city to take ownership of the building. The city would also provide about $500,000 in repairs to the building's HVAC system, carpet, paint, asphalt and marquee sign. The repair cost would be spread over 22 years.

Sandy City has also presented to Hale's board of directors about what it could offer the theater, and West Valley City presented its latest proposal to Hale on Thursday. The existing agreement between West Valley City and Hale runs out in 2016.

The West Valley City Council, sitting as the Redevelopment Agency board, voted unanimously on Dec. 4 to authorize preparation of a proposed Entertainment District Community Development Area (CDA) along Decker Lake Drive. Creating a CDA would allow the use of tax increments — the taxes generated from the increased assessed value of a property within the area — to provide infrastructure and to promote expansion there, according to a city report.

The entertainment district includes the expansion of the theater — that is "vitally important to the city both financially and as a key component of the city's image," the report states.

The proposed CDA would cover property from approximately 3100 South to 3400 South on the east side of Decker Lake Drive and from 3300 South to 3400 South on the west side of the street. Current occupants on the land are the Hale theater, Hollywood Connection family fun center and cinemas, an LDS church and some restaurants and hotels.

West Valley City is a more favorable location for the theater, City Manager Wayne Pyle said. He listed as advantages the CDA being put into place in the Decker Lake area, which will help fund infrastructure; a traffic study that will be conducted there; and the willingness of West Valley to bond so the theater could pay for its expansion through lease payments. The amount of the bond is unknown at this point.

Another plus, according to Pyle: West Valley City's history with Hale and its community attachment to the theater.

Mayor Mike Winder said the theater has been "a jewel" to the city and added "we will be going to great lengths to keep Hale Centre Theatre in our city."

The theater board has not yet made a decision on which city they will sign a contract with.

Tribune reporter Pamela Manson contributed to this story.

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