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Lamb Arts atrium

Shown is an artist's rendering of the two-story atrium planned for the future Lamb Arts Regional Theatre at 625 Douglas St. The regional theater group plans to move into the former Sioux City auditorium building in about 2 1/2 years after completing an $11.5 million renovation. 

SIOUX CITY | The Sioux City Council granted unanimous approval Monday to a loan that will allow regional performing arts group Lamb Arts to purchase the historic building that formerly housed KCAU Channel 9.

Under a resolution passed Monday, Lamb Arts Regional Theatre will receive a $350,000 economic development loan from the city to purchase the 1909 building at 625 Douglas St. The nonprofit group, which has for the past 31 years leased the former Webster School building at 417 Market St. from the city, plans to raise $11.5 million to restore the building and to relocate its operations into the venue over the next 2 1/2 years.

The theater group is purchasing the property from its current owner, the Archer Family Trust, for $350,000. 

The public loan is secured by a mortgage on the property that would be repaid over a one-year period. In the event Lamb Arts cannot pay the loan, the property will revert to the city. The loan carries 4 percent interest that will be forgiven if Lamb Arts pays the loan within a year. 

The envisioned renovations for the venue, which were shared with the public Friday, will include three theaters: a 220- to 250-seat thrust theater, a 50-seat cabaret-style bar and a second-floor 120-seat theater. Other rooms will include a costume shop, classrooms, a scene shop and catering kitchen. Plans also include a two-story atrium with a skylight. 

Councilman Dan Moore thanked Lamb Arts co-founders Russ and Diana Wooley for their vision for the building, which originally served as Sioux City's first auditorium. 

"There's not a doubt in my mind that you will be successful," Moore said. "It's just contagious to have the excitement in downtown Sioux City with the theater."

With Monday's approval, Lamb Arts is kicking off a capital campaign for the property acquisition and renovation. 

Viaduct grant

In other action, the council voted 5-0 to approve a $12.4 million grant application to the U.S. DOT's Infrastructure For Rebuilding America (INFRA) Grant Program for construction of a viaduct across railroad tracks on 18th Street. 

If awarded to the city, the competitive grant would cover a significant portion of the $20.7 million projected cost to build the 500-foot viaduct, which would connect Floyd Boulevard to Steuben Street, spanning the Union Pacific Railroad and Canadian National Railway tracks. The project would also realign portions of Hawkeye Drive and Illinois Avenue.

A timetable from the project is pending an award of funding. 

Chestnut Hill 

The council also voted 5-0 in approval of a subdivision improvement installation agreement and a final plat for the first addition to Chestnut Hill, a proposed northside housing development along Floyd Boulevard across from the 28th Street intersection. 

The proposal allows developer Rick Bertrand to proceed with the development of the first 15 lots, which will become 30 attached units. Final plans for the development include 40 twin homes, providing 80 total housing units.

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City hall reporter

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