Met theater sale to end Thursday

The proposed sale of the Metropolitan Performing Arts Theater in downtown Spokane concludes next week with a deadline that will decide if more than one bidder is interested in the historic building.

Robert Delaney, a corporate attorney for Metropolitan Mortgage & Securities Co., Inc., the theater’s owner, said bids by qualified buyers must be submitted by 5 p.m. Thursday.

If no new bids come in, the theater will be sold by Metropolitan to Spokane business owners Mitch and Cindy Silver.

The Silvers, who run a successful company that sells exotic and rare vehicles, have been the sole bidders on the property so far. They’ve offered $808,000 for “the Met,” which first opened in 1915 at its current address, 901 W. Sprague.

If their offer is accepted, the Silvers have said they would continue using the theater as a performance hall for arts groups and touring shows.

If any eligible bidders submit offers next week, Delaney said an auction will occur next Friday, Oct 8.

The sale is part of an ongoing effort by Metropolitan to liquidate its properties as directed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Eastern Washington. Metropolitan, which was once one of Spokane’s most successful financial institutions, filed for reorganization in February.

“Even though we have received an excellent offer from Mitch and Cindy Silver, it’s important that we ensure our creditors receive the best price possible for the property,” said Maggie Lyons, an executive at Metropolitan.

Delaney said the court requires that potential buyers prove they have enough money to come up with a down payment. Bidders would need to establish they have roughly $100,000 in cash in order to qualify for the auction.

Those who can’t provide written proof of available assets would not be eligible to bid, said Delaney.

The auction, if needed, would occur at the Spokane law office of attorney Barry Davidson. Davidson has been appointed by the bankruptcy court to assist with the sale of Metropolitan assets.

Metropolitan purchased the theater in 1986 and has spent more than $750,000 restoring it. The company will continue to manage the theater until the sale is concluded.

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