Tuesday, May 22, 2018 Elyria 64°

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Deal falls through between Palace, FireFish for Lorain Eagles building


LORAIN — After two years of negotiations, a deal between the Lorain Palace Theater and the FireFish Arts Festival for the Eagles Building is dead.

FireFish organizer James Levin said the festival was notified last week that the Palace had deemed the contract null and void.

“We thought this was a done deal, and then I got a notice saying they were revoking the purchase agreement,” he said. “It has something to do with it being indemnified under terms that cannot be met.”

City Council approved the sale of the building from the Palace to FireFish in February, with many members praising the transfer, saying it would be the perfect catalyst for the struggling downtown.

Palace board president Jeff Neal said the board was meeting Wednesday night with city Law Director Pat Riley to see what the organization’s options were.

Neal wasn’t available for further comment.

Levin said the FireFish festival will work toward hosting another festival in downtown Lorain this year.

“We won’t be pursuing this particular building anymore, but we’re also not giving up on a downtown vision,” he said. “Eagles had a presence and a gravitas that I don’t know if we’ll find with another downtown building, but I’m confident we can move forward.”

Levin said FireFish is definitely “disappointed” by the move because they thought deal was complete, but even if the Palace board were to decide to reopen negotiations, it’s too little too late.

“We just need to move on and refocus our efforts,” he said.

Contact Katie Nix at 329-7129 or knix@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @KatieHNix.

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