The coalition covering the operation of the Performing Arts Center in Astoria will have until May to decide whether to buy the building from Clatsop Community College.
The Partners for the PAC, a coalition of arts groups that use the center for rehearsals and performances, has been leasing the property for $23,611 a year. The group last year announced its interest in buying the center from the college, which no longer uses the building academically and wants to sell.
The former church faces significant deferred maintenance and costs to meet building codes. The Partners last year began a due diligence phase before making a decision. Chris Breitmeyer, the college president, said Tuesday he recently met with the group about their progress.
“We talked about the fact that in December, when the lease is up for negotiations, that it will increase significantly,” Breitmeyer said. “I think some Partners would like to have the decision made before that lease is negotiated, as to whether they would be able to purchase the building. But definitely we said we would need something by May.”
Dave Ambrose, a local artist and representative of the Partners, said the group is going through what it will cost to upgrade the building, make repairs and deal with potential past issues such as asbestos.
“There’s roof problems,” he said. “There’s other things that need to be addressed. They all seem to be manageable.”
Breitmeyer also announced that another undisclosed party has come forward with interest in buying the PAC. The college board previously voted down an attempt by a developer to buy the center and include it in a housing project along with the former Lum’s Auto Center. But the new party is like-minded with the Partners and the college and could assist in keeping the center a community performing arts venue.