US conglomerate Live Nation and Sydney based Playbill are now the only two businesses being considered to take over Melbourne’s iconic Palais Theatre in St Kilda.
St Kilda Deputy Mayor Serge Thomann has confirmed that Palais Theatre Management, the company currently managing the venue, are no longer being considered for the new lease due to commence in 2017.
In a Facebook post, Mr Thomann commented, “In 2015, Council officers appointed a panel to assess the 3 bids that were made and I was told like the other Councillors on Wednesday afternoon that the panel had excluded the current manager of the Palais PTM and will only now keep negotiating with Playbill and Live Nation after going through a very vigorous process”.
A disappointed Councilor Thomann, a vocal supporter of local business and the Melbourne music industry praised the work of current manager Neil Crocker. “I recognise the incredible work and passion that Neil Croker has put into the Palais. Thank you Neil. Like most but I have to trust the independent and rigorous process put in place by Council officers”.
The Palais Theatre is undergoing a $13.4 million facelift.
According to Port Phillip Council documents, the criteria for taking over the 89-year old venue are:
To maintain the site as a live performance venue and cultural icon in St Kilda
To maximise the economic, social, health and cultural benefits to the precinct and community
To develop a leasing model that enables commercial viability for the tenant and a net positive position for Council
To transfer building maintenance, compliance and future upgrade responsibilities/liabilities to the lessee
To ensure the use and any development of the site aligns with the development of the St Kilda Triangle
For the building to be compliant with contemporary standards and in good condition when the lease expires
To preserve the heritage value of the site.
“Our aim is to get the best operator for the Palais for many years to come”, Thomann added. “Due to the high probity being placed on this topic, I do not intend to comment any further. Councillors are not part of the evaluation panel.
The successful applicant will be announced in March 2016 to commence in 2017.
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