I.M.P. Sues to Block Live Nation Venue

25 Jun

I.M.P.’s chairman. “We are going to begin the process of uncovering these layers.”

“An analysis of the County’s financial projections for the venue showed renting to Live Nation at such below-market terms represents a loss of approximately $20.5 million to taxpayers over the course of the 30-year lease,” Schaefer said.

In addition, the Live Nation deal would be the first for-profit arts venue to receive direct subsidies in Montgomery County.

“The County Financial Summary overstates the value of the developer’s contribution by up to $3.5 million, overstates Live Nation’s contribution by almost $2 million; and understates the cost of the county’s capital improvement contribution by up to $3.2 million,” Schaefer said.

She added that the arrangement, approved by the County Council, compels Montgomery to absorb any cost overruns, which have occurred before in county construction of arts venues.

Leggett would not comment for this article, but the county’s Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Diane Schwartz-Jones did issue the following statement:

“All of the issues raised by the 9:30 Club – a potential competitor to this venue – have been openly discussed and debated over the last two and a half years in an open and transparent manner, in a variety of forums and through many processes. This filing is no more than a last minute attempt to derail this project, which is a vital component to the revitalization of one of our urban centers,” she wrote in an email.

Lee Development Group will donate the former JCPenney facade and land, worth about $3.5 million. The firm would retain rights for more than a dozen years to build on the remainder of the property.

“This dispute is between the state of Maryland and the 9:30 Club,” said Bruce Lee, president of Lee Development Group. “We’re moving full steam ahead in terms of the Live Nation venue.”

Live Nation would not comment, due to the ongoing litigation. — Lisa White

Interviewed for this article: Seth Hurwitz, (202) 265-0930; Sally Greenberg, (202) 835-3323; Bruce Lee, (301) 585-7000; Audrey Fix Schaefer, (301) 947-1133

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