Local developer Diamante Holdings has purchased the Tivoli Theatre, a heritage building in downtown Hamilton.
Dominic Diamante, the company's owner, is traveling in Italy and not available for comment, but the company's secretary confirmed the deal has gone through.
Dominic is the husband of Belma Diamante, CEO of the Canadian Ballet Youth Ensemble (CBYE), the company selling the 138-year-old theatre to Diamante Holdings.
'I'm interested to see what the future holds for the development. I wish them the best of luck.'—Tim Potocic, Sonic Unyon
In October, Belma Diamante said a serious offer was on the table, but would not reveal the prospective buyer's identity. “I can't go public right now with specifics,” she told CBC Hamilton. “We're seriously considering an interested party. A number of details have to be worked out.”
CBC News had learned at the time that two local community members had put bids on the table to develop the property. One of them was Tim Potocic, owner of Sonic Unyon records.
“I'm interested to see what the future holds for the development,” Potocic told CBC Hamilton Thursday. “I wish them the best of luck.”
The theatre has been an eyesore on James Street North since part of it collapsed about eight years ago.
The CBYE and Belma Diamante acquired the theatre in 2004 from the Sniderman family, of Sam the Record Man fame, for $1. In June of that year, while the Snidermans still owned the Tivoli, a south-facing wall collapsed inside the building, pushing debris through an exterior wall.
The last time the Tivoli was in use was between 1998 and 2004, when the Snidermans rented the Tivoli to a local theatre company, the Tivoli Renaissance Project.
Later in 2004, the city spent $300,000 to demolish the front portion of the building, which included the original facade that faced James Street North, as well as the long lobby leading into the theatre and the washrooms.
The $300,000 for demolition was not the only money the city has put into the Tivoli since the wall collapsed. Glen Norton, Hamilton's manager of urban renewal planning and economic development, said the city gave a grant of $75,455 to the Tivoli's owners in 2009 for building stabilization and heating improvements.
In 2008, the owners were given $20,000 to pay for a heritage feasibility study to identify potential uses for the property and gauge community interest in the building's restoration, Norton said.
City council also approved a $50,000 interest-free loan to retrofit the theatre's roof in December 2009, an amount that is still outstanding.
The secretary for Diamante Holdings was not aware of what plans Mr. Diamante has for the property. He's expected to return to Hamilton at the beginning of March.