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Arts and Culture, Westown

Mike Wolfe of HISTORY’S American Pickers to Appear at the Variety Theatre to announce winner of This Place Matters campaign

(Plain Press, May 2017)       Mike Wolfe, creator and star of HISTORY’s popular TV series American Pickers, will appear at the Variety Theatre, 11835 Lorain Avenue, on June 7, 2017 at 2:00 p.m., to announce that the restoration of the theatre and complex is the official winner of his This Place Matters national competition. The event will be sponsored by Westown Community Development Corporation, and will be free and open to the public.

The contest was held last year as part of Wolfe’s partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to highlight the volunteer support of preservation and restoration of historic structures throughout the United States. With the commitments of state historic tax credits and new market tax credits, the project, which spans a city block, is poised to close the financing gap on this $14 million project. Last year the City of Cleveland completed $8 million dollars in streetscape and roadway improvements in the Variety Village Historic District.

Ward 11 Councilwoman Dona Brady, who represents the neighborhood, said, “This is the culmination of 12 years of planning and development to make this beloved neighborhood landmark shine again.” Brady also adds, “The restoration of the theatre will make it a destination for visitors and a neighborhood of choice. It will be a catalyst for expanded economic and community development which means more investment, jobs and stabilization.”

Michael Ripich, Chief Executive Officer and President of American Tank and Fabricating, and President of The Friends of The Historic Variety Theatre said, “At once, this honor serves to celebrate the value of preserving our city’s heritage as well as the virtue of creating community for future generations. The award is also recognition of the accomplishments of the many who have worked tirelessly to save the Variety.”

The project’s anchor tenant that will occupy the theatre is the George Group, which operates 27 restaurants in North East Ohio.

For more information contact, or Westown Executive Director Rose Zitiello, at 216-941-9262.

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