Since he was 13, Rick Kinney dreamed of opening his own music and entertainment complex but never found the right place to do it in Fort Wayne.
Now, with the help of $40,000 in grants from the city, Kinney plans to renovate the old Clyde Theater at Quimby Village, turning the former movie house into a performing arts center, recording studio and art gallery.
“This is the place I've been looking for since I was 13 years old,” Kinney said Thursday. “I've always known that Fort Wayne needed a place like this, and we just haven't had it.”
Kinney's plan is one of 10 projects that will split about $200,000 this year as part of the city's commercial fašade grant program. The grant program helps fund aesthetic improvements in key business districts. The other recipients are:
• Billy's Dugout, 3401 Fairfield Ave.
• Born Again Quilts, 4005 S. Wayne Ave.
• Brewers' Art Supply, 1425 Wells St.
• Fairfield Shops, 2002-2014 Fairfield Ave.
• Java Bean, 2715-2717 Broadway
• North Anthony Center, 3322-3528 N. Anthony Blvd.
• Oyster Bar, 1830 S. Calhoun St.
• Redwood Inn, 1432-1436 W. Main St.
• 2020 Broadway Building, 2020 Broadway
Mayor Tom Henry, who started the program in 2008, announced this year's recipients at a news conference held at the Clyde.
The theater's overall renovation will cost about $1 million, said Kinney, who is still seeking investors to help fund the project. Kinney said has set an “aggressive” target of summer or fall 2014 for the center's grand opening.