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Tower Theater revival dream eludes Uptown

Legal issue in Virginia stalls plans for redevelopment of long-vacant theater.
by Steve Lackmeyer Modified: September 9, 2013 at 8:30 pm •  Published: September 10, 2013
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/articleid/3881074/1/pictures/2206015">Photo - The rebuilt marquee is the only noticable improvement at the Tower Theater, 425 NW 23, since it was purchased eight years ago by Marty Dillon. <strong>SARAH PHIPPS</strong>
The rebuilt marquee is the only noticable improvement at the Tower Theater, 425 NW 23, since it was purchased eight years ago by Marty Dillon. SARAH PHIPPS

Various developers, meanwhile, indicate they've been unable to put together deals with Dillon.

I mentioned some of these details in response to questions asked during last Friday's OKC Central Live Chat. When I last spoke to Dillon several months ago, he indicated he was still struggling to obtain financing and tax credits.

We spoke again Monday, and he is also frustrated. He has bank financing, approval for state historic tax credits, and a buyer for federal historic tax credits.

It's the federal tax credit that has the project stalled. Dillon says he is awaiting a ruling on a case in Virginia, where developers were challenged over the sale of tax credits to what the IRS deemed “an outside investor.”

A ruling was expected after Labor Day. And if it's favorable, Dillon expects the delays to finally come to an end. But if the outcome is less than favorable, the Tower Theater may not be the only historic property awaiting redevelopment with a murkier future ahead.

by Steve Lackmeyer
Business Reporter
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter, columnist and author who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's...
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