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Culture Former CATS Theatre site sold, building to be demolished

Former CATS Theatre site sold, building to be demolished

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Robert Francis
Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

The former Creative Arts Theatre & School (CATS) in Arlington is set to be demolished with a new buyer set to take over the property. Coldwell Banker Commercial Alliance DFW has secured the demolition permit and authorized the start of work on the former theatre site as part of the agreement. The 26,494-square foot three-story building is located on nearly 1.7 acres, which have been on the market following a major fire in July 2012. The structure sustained additional damage from repeated vandalism and a second fire earlier this year. Renee Efimoff of Coldwell Banker Commercial Alliance DFW has been marketing the property at 1100 W. Randol Mill Road for the nonprofit organization.

“Renee deserves credit for her perseverance. She dealt with the immediate crisis after the first fire to resettle CATS into a new location in downtown Arlington and then went above and beyond to find a buyer for this blighted property,” says Gary Walker, managing principal of CBC Alliance DFW in Arlington. “CATS can now move forward with a clean slate because Renee took such a strong interest in its cause.” Trent Prim of Prim Construction LLC in Fort Worth is CBC Alliance DFW’s consultant for the demolition. Lindamood Demolition of Irving is razing and scraping the site, one of the largest development tracts in an infill medical corridor anchored by Arlington Memorial Hospital. The work is expected to be completed by mid-October. Prior to the sales agreement, CATS lacked the financial resources to tear down the 1960s-era building because insurance proceeds from the original fire barely covered the building’s debt. Non-refundable earnest money is funding the undertaking and opening the door for the buyer, Randol Mill Holdings, to redevelop the acreage for medical office use. “This has been a complex real estate deal that has taken two years to pull together,” Efimoff said. “This agreement allows CATS to finally resolve the situation and focus solely on its core mission to provide arts training and performance opportunities for youth throughout this area.” Following the 2012 fire, CATS relocated to 602 E. South St.  

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