Marketing firm to oversee arts district development

The Redevelopment Agency last week approved a one-year, $75,000 contract with Ryno Marketing Group to assist in redevelopment of the Arts District.

The Flanders-based firm, which specializes in real estate consulting services, will serve as project coordinator for development of the amphitheater and black box theater, as well as acquisition, operation and development of the former Elizabethtown Gas property.

Acquisition of the Elizabethtown Gas building was included as soft costs in the $8.5-million bond ordinance that City Council approved earlier this year for development of the Hamilton Street projects, according to City Administrator and Redevelopment Director Peter Pelissier. In addition to coordinating between different city agencies and the administration, the firm will handle leasing agreements for the amphitheater and black box theater, he said.

The plan for the Elizabethtown Gas building is to house a cooperative gallery or arts space, and develop contiguous land next to the building into 50 to 70 units for artist housing, Mayor James Kennedy told commissioners in a rare appearance before the agency last week.