The three-member board is advising that RFP include that the buyer shall maintain the historical integrity of the marquee in perpetuity and that all proposals be presented at a public meeting before the mayor's office selects one.
Councilors had wanted to "flip the process" by issuing an RFP first and weighing responses before declaring the property "municipal surplus." But an opinion by the city solicitor received Tuesday afternoon closed off that possibility.
The theater, however, incurred far more angst among officials and residents than previous properties like Notre Dame church and the old City Yard. It has been in part driven by nostalgia but largely by a hope held for years that the dormant property can be transformed.
Several councilors expressed concern that the council — and city — would lose control over aspects of the landmark theater based on the language in the request for proposals and that there were too many unanswered questions.
Mayor Thomas Bernard, the third mayor to deal with the city-owned property, has decided the public sector has taken it as far as it can go: Next week he'll ask the City Council to declare the theater as excess municipal property and put out a request for proposals.