Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Lyric Opera Poised to Sell North Park Theatre

Lyric Opera, which owns Birch North Park Theatre, struggles to pay the mortgage and operating costs, which run more than $50,000 monthly. Now, the nonprofit organization is close to unloading the property.

According to Lyric Opera general director Leon Natker, the historic renovated theater, which has been for sale for more than six months, has interested buyers.

In a July 6 phone interview, Natker said he has “two offers still active,” one from Los Angeles and one from New York. The asking price is around $5 million, but he expects counter-offers.

Natker said they only wanted to deal with companies that would “be a partner and in the biz.” The new owner would be able to move concerts, plays, and events into the theater during what Natker called “free ice” periods (unbooked dates).

With the sale ("within 60 to 90 days"), Lyric Opera gets a long-term lease. Natker said negotiations will determine if existing staff will continue to operate the theater.

Lyric Opera was in the black until the economy tanked in 2008. Their $4 million mortgage has forced the sale. Natker mostly blamed the bank (formerly Washington Mutual, now JPMorgan Chase) loan terms for creating their financial predicament.

The theater is a union venue. But Natker praised Local 122 of the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees (IATSE) for taking a pay cut.

Natker said he still sees a good future for Lyric Opera. The “biggest show of our season,” he said, is “The Mikado.” He didn't mention it, but Natker is playing the lead role.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

What makes a home in San Diego

Cedar fire, wary of Clairemont, rooming with my son in North Park, last vacant beachfront lots, building paradise above Rancho Santa Fe
Next Article

San Diego inside sports

El Cajon Speedway, dark side of NFL, pick-up b-ball, Lakeside's Jarrod Boswell, start of Padres, SDSU football scandal

Lyric Opera, which owns Birch North Park Theatre, struggles to pay the mortgage and operating costs, which run more than $50,000 monthly. Now, the nonprofit organization is close to unloading the property.

According to Lyric Opera general director Leon Natker, the historic renovated theater, which has been for sale for more than six months, has interested buyers.

In a July 6 phone interview, Natker said he has “two offers still active,” one from Los Angeles and one from New York. The asking price is around $5 million, but he expects counter-offers.

Natker said they only wanted to deal with companies that would “be a partner and in the biz.” The new owner would be able to move concerts, plays, and events into the theater during what Natker called “free ice” periods (unbooked dates).

With the sale ("within 60 to 90 days"), Lyric Opera gets a long-term lease. Natker said negotiations will determine if existing staff will continue to operate the theater.

Lyric Opera was in the black until the economy tanked in 2008. Their $4 million mortgage has forced the sale. Natker mostly blamed the bank (formerly Washington Mutual, now JPMorgan Chase) loan terms for creating their financial predicament.

The theater is a union venue. But Natker praised Local 122 of the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees (IATSE) for taking a pay cut.

Natker said he still sees a good future for Lyric Opera. The “biggest show of our season,” he said, is “The Mikado.” He didn't mention it, but Natker is playing the lead role.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Loco Lopez takes brunch over the top

Cheese-wrapped burrito and donut grilled cheese at OB pop-up
Next Article

San Diego inside sports

El Cajon Speedway, dark side of NFL, pick-up b-ball, Lakeside's Jarrod Boswell, start of Padres, SDSU football scandal
Comments
12

:-( :-)

The Theater is important to NP so I hope they will get a Company that will be a great "FIT" with NP!

July 8, 2011

Founder, this is just around the corne from your homestead!

When I was in commercial real estate back in the 1990's I had a client that wanted to buy this theater, but the City owned it and like most things with the gov they screwed it up beyond fixing!

They had the 1987 Mr. San Diego (bodybuilding) in this theater, and Jerry Rodgers won that show! Jerry later went on win the Nationals and after Nationals took 2nd in the Mr. Universe, and became a professional BBer. Good guy. Good memories of this place.

July 8, 2011

Hope you can visit NP soon! Lots of changes!

July 9, 2011

I love it down there.

Founder, the owner of Stern's Gym said he got a real bad deal on his lease renewal back in 2004 or so, and he said if it was not squared up he was moving, is Stern's still there on Granada?????

July 9, 2011

Yes If you can visit send me an email.. Lots to see in NP

Like Albus Dumbledore said: "Both the Good and the Bad...".

July 11, 2011

Will do!

July 28, 2011

No more nonprofit performing arts companies, thank goodness. Instead it will now be run like a real business! Remember, it's called show BUSINESS! ;-)

April 14, 2014

It's a lovely venue, really. Nice location, and nice theatre. It could do with some softer seats, though. Really. It's like they went for "30 minute" seats. Too hard.

July 27, 2011

I understand they have put in new seating, and actually added more seats!

April 14, 2014

I wonder if there were restrictions on installing modern seats, since this building has historic designation.

Aug. 30, 2011

Natker is now out of a job, his prediction of the building's sale "within 60 to 90 days" did not happen, and Lyric Opera is filing Chapter 11.

Oct. 16, 2011

It's interesting that former Lyric Opera general director (and singer) Leon Natker blamed others for the downfall. His statements to me about selling the theater building turned out to be bogus. He later left town, never to return. Sound familiar? Now San Diego Opera general director (and former singer) Ian Campbell seems to be repeating that scenario. This should be a lesson that singers/actors/dancers/etc. should NOT be hired to run a performing arts organization. They rarely can do it well. And they cannot be trusted with money, or with telling the truth about what's happening behind the scenes.

April 14, 2014

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close