September 30, 2023

Wildwood might purchase a historic Essential Road theater as a part of town’s downtown redevelopment challenge.

Commissioners Monday licensed Metropolis Supervisor Jason McHugh to discover negotiations to amass the previous Martin Theater, 206 N. Essential St., and a pair of duplexes subsequent to the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Neighborhood Middle.

The previous Martin Theater is now the Christian Worship Middle.

Inbuilt 1936 with 600 seats, the concrete theater constructing now could be owned by the Christian Worship Middle of Central Florida, based mostly in Leesburg. Its assessed worth is $100,100.

Initially often known as The Ritz, the Martin Theater opened in 1949. In later years, it grew to become the Arcade Theater.

The Martin Theater back in its heyday on Main Street in Wildwood
The Martin Theater again in its heyday on Essential Road in Wildwood.

McHugh stated John Christian of the worship heart and Jonathan Zier, proprietor of the 2 duplexes, contacted town not too long ago about promoting their properties.

In a July 26 e-mail to McHugh, Ziel requested if town is likely to be excited by shopping for, leasing or buying and selling for his York Road duplexes. Assessed values are listed at almost $30,000 for every duplex.

“Acquisition of both property might facilitate the continuation of town’s redevelopment plans related to the Downtown Grasp Plan,” McHugh wrote in a memo to commissioners.

Mayor Ed Wolf stated the theater could possibly be useful as a result of it has a stage.

If town doesn’t act, Commissioner Joe Elliott stated the acquisition worth is more likely to go up.

The Downtown Grasp Plan features a three-story parking ramp and an 8,000-square-foot business space often known as the Railyard, each throughout the road from Metropolis Corridor. The town will use identify plates and bricks to mark the historic buildings that when graced the road.

Plans name for slowing visitors on Essential Road (U.S. 301) to make it simpler for pedestrians and ultimately rerouting visitors through a bypass.