It was important that Music Hall not lose control of the property. So when it became clear that the property was going to be sold, the administrators stepped in to help the cultural organization gain control of it, he said.
“We have big plans, which are just that. They are plans at this point,” Parrish said.
“We’ve made tremendous progress over the past five years…overcoming incredible odds. And we’ve done so without a significant capital reserve,” he added.
“I think you’ll see even more progress over the next two years. This acquisition is proof of that.”
Paul declined to share more details about the project until it’s finalized, but said he plans to launch a fundraising campaign this fall to help support the project.
“Detroit has a preponderance of historic theaters. We haven’t built a major new theater in decades,” he said.
The new concert hall would expand the Music Hall’s demographic services, he said, building on its mission to bring Detroit’s diverse communities together by showcasing every genre imaginable, from Bollywood, contemporary ballet, hip hop and Broadway. to Johnny Mathis and the family theatre.
“Young people will inherit this city…we are responding to what younger generations want from their city,” Paul said.
The new expansion would increase the revenue the Music Hall generates to support the performances and educational programs it offers, through leases for office and recording space and the concert hall, Paul said. Nearly three-quarters of its budget already comes from earned income, a significant amount for a nonprofit organization.
The music academy planned for the new site would build on the educational programs the Music Hall currently offers to some 22,000 students this year, he said. These programs include: a music and choir program for students attending school at the former Marygrove College campus in Detroit, early childhood music programs at five locations in the Detroit Public Schools Community District, and monthly excursions for students to attend nationally touring theater productions.