UG looks to refinance Legends theater bonds

The Unified Government Commission will be looking at refinancing the Legends theater bonds on Thursday, July 10.

The $6.9 million refinance was discussed at a UG Economic Development and Finance Committee Standing Committee meeting Monday night.

Lew Levin, UG chief financial officer, said a payment of $6.8 million is due on Aug. 1, and the refinancing would allow the UG to extend the financing for four years.

The proposed terms with Security Bank are 2.75 percent, $100,000 annually, he said. There is another balloon payment in four years of $6.6 million.

“It allows the government to look for opportunities to move forward with the sale of the theater while at the same time continuing to pay off the debt on the theater,” he said.

Doug Bach, UG administrator, said since the Legends theater was designed and built, the UG has never put any general funds into it, but all of the costs have been covered by theater operations.

“It was done originally to bring a movie theater into Wyandotte County, where we were without one at the time, so it has been a great asset,” Bach said. “We are looking at options, we think there is a market that has returned to our venue at this time that we could look at for a potential sale. Our economic development department is pursuing that to see whether or not it is viable.”

But the top priority is to keep a good-quality theater in Wyandotte County that will have long-lasting sustainability, he said. As long as costs are covered, the UG does not feel it needs to hurry to find a buyer. If a quality buyer is found that would maintain the theater over a long period, the staff would come back to the commission and recommend the sale, he said.