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New Isis Theater to be Refurbished??

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#101 JBB

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 08:10 PM

I've seen a few very vague social media posts indicating that the theater is going through some sort of ownership transition:

 

https://twitter.com/...947985940451520



#102 Jeriat

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Posted 26 November 2023 - 09:11 PM

I've seen a few very vague social media posts indicating that the theater is going through some sort of ownership transition:

 

https://twitter.com/...947985940451520

Yeah, they made it clear on their facebook page this morning that there are new owners. 

Not sure who those new owners may be, though. 


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#103 RD Milhollin

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Posted 27 November 2023 - 03:00 PM

I hope the owners who did the restoration were justly compensated for their amazing work on the New Isis... Perhaps enough that they could now turn their attention to the Hollywood Theater on 7th Street downtown.



#104 JBB

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Posted 27 November 2023 - 04:38 PM

A rapid change in ownership, the tone of their post about it, and previous posts in this thread tells me that the line of people waiting to be compensated forms to the left.  I hope I'm wrong, but someone not getting what they're owed usually puts these things in motion.



#105 Austin55

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Posted 27 November 2023 - 04:44 PM

I wonder if we are going to Love whoever it is that bought it. 



#106 JBB

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Posted 27 November 2023 - 04:49 PM

Interesting.



#107 Stadtplan

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Posted 27 November 2023 - 05:55 PM

I saw filed on Tarrant County website a Landlords Lien for $1.17M for rent owed.

#108 Jeriat

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Posted 27 November 2023 - 06:04 PM

I saw filed on TCs website a landlords lien for $1.17M for rent owed.

...yeesh.


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#109 JBB

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Posted 27 November 2023 - 06:23 PM

I probably should have read closer and realized that the current operator is ceasing operation.  It doesn't look like a change in ownership on the surface.  Sounds like a real mess.  If you assume they supposed to start paying rent at opening, that works out to around $30k a month if they never made a single payment.



#110 Stadtplan

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Posted 27 November 2023 - 06:27 PM

I probably should have read closer and realized that the current operator is ceasing operation.  It doesn't look like a change in ownership on the surface.  Sounds like a real mess.  If you assume they supposed to start paying rent at opening, that works out to around $30k a month if they never made a single payment.


From memory, it was closer to $47k/mo accumulating starting around Q2 2021. Notice to vacate was issued Sept 11, 2023

#111 801hme

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Posted 28 November 2023 - 08:08 AM

I've played some gigs at the Isis, last one in September and had one scheduled for January. Just got word that gig is off, obviously. 

 

This is really a drag. They did such a monumental job rebuilding the theatre (restoring is not a strong enough word; I saw the shape it was in before).

 

I just hope there will be a future there, and it's not left to rot like LaGrave field. 



#112 Stadtplan

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Posted 29 November 2023 - 01:05 PM

I've played some gigs at the Isis, last one in September and had one scheduled for January. Just got word that gig is off, obviously. 

 

This is really a drag. They did such a monumental job rebuilding the theatre (restoring is not a strong enough word; I saw the shape it was in before).

 

I just hope there will be a future there, and it's not left to rot like LaGrave field. 

 

You never know, maybe they will continue doing concerts here someday.  There was a deed recorded in June and a couple different LLC's involved in this mess.  We'll see how it shakes out.

 



#113 JBB

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Posted 30 November 2023 - 09:16 AM

Fort Worth Report takes a deeper dive.  I think "mess" is not strong enough to describe it.

 

https://fortworthrep...-in-fort-worth/

 

One of the more troubling paragraphs:

 

Financing company Liquidibee, which gave the Isis a cash advance of $35,000 in March of 2022, filed a third lawsuit in February of this year. The suit alleges that the theater failed to pay back its accrued debt and now owes Liquidibee $38,599.96 plus interest.

 

Defaulting on what appears to be the loan used to fund the remodel, not paying rent, not paying taxes, not paying people, and then what I can only assume is a short-term, high interest loan to stay afloat for maybe a couple of months.  Yikes.

 

My real estate finance knowledge is on the slim side, but of all of the money owed, does the government get first crack at selling the place to get the back taxes?  That could make a sale happen sooner rather than later.



#114 TLA

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Posted 30 November 2023 - 10:55 AM

Woah that’s a mess. Great reporting by FWR.

They did a tremendous job renovating the theatre, but it’s surprising they were also running operations. Management of a venue like this should have been done by a 3rd party or a new partner with experience in this.

#115 Stadtplan

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Posted 30 November 2023 - 11:21 AM

Fort Worth Report takes a deeper dive.  I think "mess" is not strong enough to describe it.

 

https://fortworthrep...-in-fort-worth/

 

One of the more troubling paragraphs:

 

 

 

Financing company Liquidibee, which gave the Isis a cash advance of $35,000 in March of 2022, filed a third lawsuit in February of this year. The suit alleges that the theater failed to pay back its accrued debt and now owes Liquidibee $38,599.96 plus interest.

 

Defaulting on what appears to be the loan used to fund the remodel, not paying rent, not paying taxes, not paying people, and then what I can only assume is a short-term, high interest loan to stay afloat for maybe a couple of months.  Yikes.

 

My real estate finance knowledge is on the slim side, but of all of the money owed, does the government get first crack at selling the place to get the back taxes?  That could make a sale happen sooner rather than later.

 

Wow, that was some thorough reporting on their part.  I was picking up hints of this the other night when I searched online, figuring one of the papers might be already digging into it a little deeper.  The LLC's and ownership thing was really confusing and nice FWR even drew a diagram about that.  I was suprised the S-T didn't do a little more homework before writing their article based on social media murmurings, apparently there was quite a bit of information available online.

 

You mentioned the theater people using Liquidbee?  I'm guessing they were factoring their receivables?  From what I understand, that's not too different than someone using a payday loan place but for a business.  These places are predatory in my opinion, taking advantage of businesses and people already in financial distress.

 

We're seeing firsthand the hidden and not so hidden costs of what is really involved in funding this sort of historic renovation effort, not to mention, how does one make a viable business entity out of such a place if they can't even pay rent?  For example, if their rent was $47K/mo, and they were needing to sell tickets let's say minimum $12/seat, they'd need to fill around 130-150 seats per day just to cover rent.  Point being, do people run these calculations before taking on a massive project?  I'm certainly not wanting to celebrate anyone's defeat here either, I would imagine there are other costs personally, emotionally, professionally for some of those involved.  Maybe the movie Money Pit with Tom Hanks and Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House should be required reading / watching for anyone looking to take on a renovation project, I think there's a lot of valid life lessons one could avoid the hard way.

 

So what can other renovations projects learn from all this?  A few examples come to mind:

  • Cleopatra and the T&P Warehouse...How many hundreds of millions of dollars are needed to bring this enormous building back to life, and what sort of business venture would be successful and sustainable here? 
  • 1012 N. Main St. Ellis Pecan Co Building....shouldn't this get started soon?
  • 215 W. Vickery Blvd. FW Rec Center....we've seen some concepts kicked around recently but what would make this a sustainable business?
  • 1300 Gendy St FW Community Arts Center.....this is totally up in the air.
  • 811 Commerce St Le Meridien Annex Renovation...I'm still not convinced everything is OK with this project based what we've seen mentioned.  I'd be willing to bet there's more to the story and it is probably way behind schedule if that's not already obvious.

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#116 Austin55

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Posted 30 November 2023 - 11:43 AM

I found the most interesting part that they (Fontana) want to add 3 stories of multifamily above the theater. Like, how?

#117 JBB

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Posted 30 November 2023 - 01:08 PM

Management of a venue like this should have been done by a 3rd party or a new partner with experience in this.

 

This has run through my head a number of times when thinking about this story.  A great number of business failures are because the owners have no idea what they're doing.  People come up with an idea for a business that they have no background with and think "I can do that.  How hard is it?"  Through social media, I followed a longtime aquaintenance open a restaurant.  When she made a post a few months in about paying cash for all of her supplies at a grocery store, I knew she was doomed.  I don't think it lasted a year.


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#118 Stadtplan

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Posted 30 November 2023 - 01:22 PM

I found the most interesting part that they (Fontana) want to add 3 stories of multifamily above the theater. Like, how?

 

You should add this project to the thread "Buildings Designed to be Expanded Vertically"

 

I wouldn't listen to any new ideas from these "investors."  How about they figure out first how to pay $400K of taxes.  

 

from the lawsuit....[Smith] “failed to provide any meaningful financial reporting; … purported to transfer some unknown rights or interests to some ne’er-do-well that is a complete stranger [referring to Fontana] … and engaged in acts of self-dealing.”



#119 John T Roberts

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Posted 30 November 2023 - 02:09 PM

I would be real hesitant to add this to the thread for "Buildings Designed to Be Expanded Vertically".  In the restoration, it was never mentioned that they were adding structure to carry anything more than the corridor above the theater to allow passage between the green room in the front of the building to the stage in the back.  Maybe they did design this into that project, but from appearances, it doesn't seem possible. The next part of this would be would this qualify for the thread because the original structure and walls of the New Isis were not capable of this.  The carrying of the loads for residential above would probably go under the category of the Restoration and Remodeling of the Building for Downtown Cowtown at the Isis.  I also question on whether this is a pipe dream or if it was actually planned.  I think I would wait to see if this idea comes to fruition and how it is executed.  If new columns have to be placed outside the existing building for this to happen, then both the renovation and the original building were never designed for this and additional structure has to be added.



#120 John T Roberts

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Posted 30 November 2023 - 02:22 PM

Austin, to answer your question about adding addition 3 floors of residential, I partially answered it in my last post, but I'm not 100% sure how it would be done.  The original building structure, walls, and roof were never capable of doing this.  The additional structure that was added for support of the new theater interior never appeared large enough to me to support something like this on top of the building.  It was also never mentioned that the renovations were designed to do this.  If that was the case, then the only way would be to add support columns clear of the exterior walls of the theater and then span over it with trusses to support the residential above.  Any way that they do it, the case would have to be heard by both the UDC and the HCLC.







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