Theater owner in default, solicitor tells council

Lawyers agree that G&T Holdings, the current owners of the Roanoke Rapids Theater, are in default on their loan, prosecutor Geoffrey Davis told the city council Tuesday night.

G&T Holdings, consisting of Thomas and Evon McLean, has owned the venue since 2018.

The city currently holds the promissory note over the venue.

“Suffice it to say, where we are now, the balloon payment they owe the city is overdue,” Davis said. “I’ve had discussions with her attorney and I think he and I both agree that they are currently in default on their obligations to the City of Roanoke Rapids.”

At that point, Davis said, “It doesn’t appear that they will be able to heal this failure. Normally, as anyone who has a home mortgage knows … what would happen in this context would be that the pledgee would proceed with the foreclosure proceedings.”

There are some alternatives to foreclosure, Davis said — “alternatives that are cheaper for the pledgee and, so to speak, less damaging to the reputation of both parties.”

Davis said he discussed those options with G&T’s attorney. “I have already contacted someone to prepare some of these options to do a property search on the property just to make sure G&T has no liens that we need to know about. I don’t think they do.”

He said he should have that information by the end of the week. “Based on the findings, I will make a proposal to this council in the form of a proposal for action.”

The lawyer’s action plan should be ready by the July meeting. “It appears that both parties – myself representing the city and the attorney representing G&T – agree that they are in default on the agreement. That’s out of the question. The question now is whether it will be the hard way or the easy way.”

The council had asked some time ago for discussions on theater to be held in open session.

Davis said for the purpose of his discussion during the meeting, “There are some legal issues that we need to be careful about and manage in some way, but I think we’ll be able to do that.”

After the attorney’s presentation, Mayor Emery Doughtie wanted to say that there were some matters related to the proceeding that needed to be discussed in closed session. However, he broke off his comments and simply said, “We can’t talk about this. I think that’s the only thing to say.”

When asked after the meeting if there was a potential buyer for the venue, Davis said, “It’s too early to say a thing or two.”

He said the options currently available are to proceed with foreclosure, the owners could write back ownership to the city, which the city would have to accept in lieu of foreclosure, or someone could buy the venue from the current owners.

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