NORWALK, Conn. – Connecticut Light & Power has announced it will purchase the Wall Street Theater’s state historic tax credits in exchange for $1.81 million in support of ongoing renovations at the venue.
The announcement was made Wednesday at the site by CL&P executives and, the theater’s Board of Directors, along with local politicians.
“CL&P is pleased to partner with the Wall Street Theater Company, the city of Norwalk and the state legislature in helping to turn the Globe Theater into a cultural destination,” said CL&P President Bill Herdegen in a statement emailed to the media. “We are committed to helping develop strong communities and the rehabilitation of the theater will be an integral part in the redevelopment of the Wall Street area, which has been a longstanding goal of the Norwalk community.”
“Work at the theater is progressing steadily, and these additional funds from the state and CL&P are greatly appreciated,” said Frank Farricker, manager of the Wall Street Theater in that same email. “We are working hard to bring back the original 1914 theater for many future generations to enjoy, and to create an attraction for the benefit of other businesses and the entire area. We are grateful to Senator Duff, the City of Norwalk and Connecticut Light & Power for all they have done to support this project,”
State Senator Bob Duff (D-Norwalk), chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, called the theater “a true Norwalk institution.”
“(The theater’s) revival will help bring new life into the downtown area. Along with the construction of Wall Street Place and other economic development initiatives, we will be looking at a very different neighborhood in a very short period of time. I am proud to announce this additional support for renovation of the theater,” he said in the release, which was issued by his office.
Formerly known as the Globe Theater, the showplace has hosted vaudeville and burlesque shows, movies and rock concerts, but has been closed for decade.
Plans call for restoration of the theater into a general-use/multipurpose venue to accommodate live entertainment, conferences, assemblies and public performances. The project is envisioned as part of a larger development plan for the Wall Street area of Norwalk, with significant benefits for low and moderate-income residents of the neighborhood and the city as a whole.
The state has provided a $1.5 million grant toward a total estimated project cost of $7.8 million. The purchase of state tax credits announced today will provide an additional $1.81 million in funding for the project, according to the release. The tax credits will be offered through the state Department of Economic & Community Development’s Office of Culture & Tourism, with a projected value of approximately $1.81 million. Resale of such credits is a common practice among many recipients, although these sales often yield only a discounted rate of 80 percent or less of the credits’ full value.
“Our city is very fortunate to have a jewel like the Wall Street Theater that is still able to be restored. The finished theater will be both a reminder of Norwalk’s past and a bright light for the future of our downtown,” said Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling.