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Westbury Theater Project Partners Honored for Partnership April 26

Firm Named Best Public/Private Partnership of Nassau County Forchelli, Curto, Deegan, Schwartz, Mineo, Cohn & Terrana LLP (the firm) client Lowe Properties was honored by the Long Island Business News for “Best Public/Private Partnership in Nassau of 2010,” for the Westbury Theater project.

Built in 1927, the Westbury Theatre was one of at least six Calderone Theaters in Nassau County, Long Island. The Theater was designed by architect Douglas Pairman Hall in a unique medieval Tudor style that remains evident to this day contained a beautiful and expansive auditorium which originally seated 1,600 and included orchestra, loge and balcony sections.

Twinned “down the middle” in the late 1970s, the theater managed to make the conversion without altering much of the interior. However, the construction of nearby multiplexes ultimately left the theater for broke. In 2001, with crowds dwindling and the leaks growing, the theater was forced to shut its doors and the building became a non-productive blighted eyesore.

In 2004, Lowe Properties LLC acquired the property for purposes of either the demolition or restoration of the structure. While demolition of the theater would likely make way for a profitable new retail strip, restoration and re-adaptation of the historic structure option would present enormous civic, aesthetic, social and historic preservation advantages. However, the restoration option faced serious economic feasibility challenges. These challenges were ultimately overcome by a creative and collaborative effort by many parties. Through a true public-private partnership, among the owner, the Village of Westbury, the county (including the Nassau IDA) and the state, began an effort to plan and finance the reconstruction of the historic building to its former glory. By October 2010, work had begun on the restoration and cleanup, with a formal groundbreaking ceremony held on October 22 to convert into a performing arts center.

Renovations on the building had been stalled because plans failed to meet the Village of Westbury’s off-street parking requirements. Since the redevelopment hinged on providing additional parking, the village pitched in by granting a parking variance and also allowed Lowe to lease 160 parking spots in a nearby village-owned lot.

For more information on the annual Real Estate Awards, please visit www.libn.com.

Founded in 1976, Forchelli, Curto, Deegan, Schwartz, Mineo, Cohn, & Terrana LLP is one of Long Island’s most acclaimed and distinguished law firms. Headquartered in Uniondale, NY, the firm is conveniently located for clients in Nassau and Suffolk. The Firm employs over 40 attorneys who provide counsel to a broad range of clients, including national, regional and local businesses, major real estate developers and organizations, banks, insurance companies, municipalities, educational institutions, and individuals. Personal attention and quality representation that is both practical and cost-effective are hallmarks of the firm’s policy toward clients.