September 28, 2017

$4M rehab eyed for Norway Opera House

The Norway Opera House Corp. plans to commission a study to evaluate whether a $4 million rehabilitation of the facility is feasible.

The Advertiser Democrat reported that the three-story brick building was built in 1894 by the Norway Building Association, was eventually bought by the town, since the mid-1970s has been owned by a succession of private owners, and was seized by the town as a public safety hazard in 2009. The upper floors have been unused for 30 years, and the storefronts have not been occupied since the roof collapsed September 2007. The corporation was subsequently created, raised funds to save the building through grants and fundraisers, and is now in the fourth, $4 million phase of rehabilitation, with the focus on the second and third floors.

"We're looking for the help of a solid business plan so we can figure out if it's economically feasible to move forward," corporation president Dennis Gray told the paper.

The project is one of numerous developments in recent years to revitalize Norway's downtown, including the opening of a new brewery and beer garden in the old Norway Trolley House, Western Maine Health Care Corp.'s $10 million expansion, rehabilitation Norway Opera House's second floor and the rehab and subsequent opening of new businesses on its first floor.


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