Struggling Pennsylvania Arts Center Is Sold to Developer

Classic Arts News   Struggling Pennsylvania Arts Center Is Sold to Developer
The struggling Mountain Laurel Center for the Performing Arts in northeast Pennsylvania has been sold to developers, who plan to surround it with a new residential community, the Pocono Record reports.

The Mountain Laurel Center, intended as the summer home of the Pittsburgh Symphony, has struggled since it opened in 2003, suffering from debt, poor management, construction delays, and accusations of misappropriation of funds.

The center will continue to operate. Developers John Wolfington and J. Brian O'Neill, who bought a total of 675 acres of land for $23 million, will lease back the arts center and 42 acres around it to the center's board for a symbolic $1 for the next three decades. The rest of the land will be combined with a neighboring 2,200-acre property and turned into a large residential and commercial development.

The sale was first proposed last year, but was delayed while agreements were reached with the various private and governmental entities that were involved in the center's creation.

The center will announce its plans for the summer season in six to eight weeks, executive director Richard Bryant told the Record.

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