PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Invited members of the community listened in this morning as financial advisors, lawyers and a planning group talked about the next steps in the buying process of the August Wilson Center.

KDKA also spoke for the first time to prospective buyers, with the highest offer on the table so far.

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“We’ve offered $9.5 million to acquire the center while keeping the cultural elements of the center in place and available to the reborn August Wilson organization,” said Matthew Shollar, of 980 Liberty Partners.

Their plan is to build a 200-room luxury hotel on top of the center while keeping the center open, eliminating debts and essentially allowing the center to operate free of charge.

“We see this as basically a no cost effort on their part,” said Shollar. “We really want to have a reset button here.”

At the meeting, some community members felt they haven’t had much involvement in the beginning stages of the newest offer.

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Because the offer is still so new and not yet approved, Shollar could not specify if the August Wilson Center would lose square footage under their plans, but he maintains that the center would still have a gallery, theater privileges and other space.

“This is all subject to our process of design and the hotel requirements, but we see this being significant space and also the theater being available more nights than it has historically ever been used since the center’s been open,” said Shollar.

Meanwhile, involved parties are to file motions for objections to the $9.5 million offer by Monday.

Pittsburgh Foundation Submits Bid To Buy August Wilson Center (4/8/14)
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Heather Abraham