Council Approves NorShor Restoration

Vote approves the restoration of the historic theater.

A few Duluth city councilors said the NorShor building restoration project has been long and complicated, but one that has finally come to a conclusion. 

In an eight to one vote, the council decided to approve the 30.5 million dollar NorShor Theater restoration.

Many councilors pointed to the fact that Duluth has become an arts destination and that by supporting the NorShor, it also supports the rest of downtown.

“We recognize a hunger for the arts in our community from our residents and visitors to our city and we want to feed that hunger,” said councilor Em Westerlund.

One councilor wanted to reiterate that not one penny of the general operating budget is involved with the project, but rather that the risk is on the operator, the Duluth Playhouse, and the project developer, Sherman Associates.

“What this project is going to do is take what is currently a blighted hole in the middle of the HART district and turn it into a huge asset for our downtown and Duluth cannot prosper if our downtown doesn’t prosper, said city councilor Joel Sipress.

City leaders praised the various entities that came together to make this project work. 

With the go ahead, the project will begin right away and will need to be completed by 2017 for all the funding sources to come through.

The only no vote came from councilor Fosle who believes that the renovated theater should be larger and closer to one thousand seats.

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