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City Could Acquire Emery Theatre, Allow Requiem Project to Proceed

By German Lopez · August 14th, 2013 · City Desk

The city of Cincinnati might take over the Emery Theatre following a legal dispute between the Requiem Project, a nonprofit seeking to renovate the theater, and the University of Cincinnati, Emery Center Apartments Limited Partnership (ECALP) and the Emery Center Corporation (ECC), the group of leasers and owners trying to push Requiem out of the building.

Requiem supports a takeover from the city, which would allow the nonprofit organization to carry on with its restoration plans.

In an email to Councilwoman Laure Quinlivan, UC Vice President of Governmental Relations Greg Vehr claimed the university wants to hand over the building containing the theater, which UC has owned since 1969, to the city of Cincinnati so it can move away from the controversy that has begun to culminate around the century-old complex.

For now, the city’s legal team is looking at possibilities. 

Requiem, which was formed in 2008 specifically for the Emery Theatre project, has sued UC, ECALP and ECC in an attempt to remain in the building.

Although Requiem and ECC signed a binding letter of intent in 2010 to renovate and book the theater, ECC is now refusing to re-sign a lease, which could force Requiem’s eviction. 

On Aug. 9, Requiem sent out a letter asking the UC, ECALP and ECC to settle with the nonprofit so it can continue renovating the theater. The letter suggested the trio of organizations could allow Requiem to sublease the theater under ECC or take over ECC’s lease entirely.

A judge is expected to rule on Aug. 14 on whether to grant a temporary restraining order so Requiem can remain in the building while the case is heard. 

But if the city takes over, the legal battle might become unnecessary.



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