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Boca Starts Talks To Take Over At The Mizner

BOCA RATON, FL (CelebrityAcceess MediaWire) — The Boca Raton Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) announced that it has entered into negotiations to assume control of the Count de Hoernle Amphitheater at Mizner Park from the financially strapped arts group that leases the facility.

The Schmidt Family Centre for the Arts (CFA) holds a 99-year lease for the venue with the CRA, and initially raised the $6 million to build the shed in 4,500-seat facility in 2002. However, declines in charitable donations in recent years has led to a lack of funds for maintenance and programming at the venue and last year, the CFA approached the city last year about taking the venue over.

According to the Sun Sentinel, the venue has seen better days and needs at least $565,000 in repairs before the year's end and another $509,000 in improvements for the next year. The city, operating through the CRA, has several options, including a buy out Centre for the Arts for $825,000, which would cover the building's mortgage and outstanding bills. The city would then contract with a private company to operate the venue. The city is estimating that it will cost them approximately $1.1 million a year to run the shed and a recently opened cultural arts center at the site.

The city could also pursue the option of placing CFA in default on their lease, but city officials told the Sun Sentinel that this course of action was unlikely as it would likely result in a legal battle.

Details still need to be worked out about who will be handling programming at the venue. Live Nation currently handles those duties but has been in a dispute with the CFA over the number of shows programmed at the venue. According to the Sun-Sentinel, Live Nation only staged nine of the 25 contractually stipulated concerts at Mizner last year. The CFA has also expressed hopes that they will be allowed to continue to program at the venue with the city underwriting the costs.

"The city is going to play a bigger role in the amphitheater," Assistant City Manager Mike Woika said. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers