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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Bellevue’s Marianne Theatre to Become Micro-Brewery

Via Flickr. Originally reported on The River City News. 
The iconic Marianne Theatre, vacant more than a decade, will be home to a micro-brewery, following a city-led economic development effort.  The micro-brewery project proposed by Hardman Investments, LLC was selected following a Request for Proposals (RFP) process that was reviewed by a specially-formed community task force of elected officials, city staff, residents and business owners.

The City of Bellevue purchased the Marianne Theater (609-611 Fairfield Avenue), a historic Art Deco movie theater, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, in 2014 to help create a new economic development opportunity that would both complement existing businesses and bring new visitors to Bellevue to further stimulate the local economy to ensure the vitality of Fairfield Avenue.

The building’s exterior façade will remain in its original configuration, welcoming patrons from the region and beyond to the east end of Bellevue’s retail district. This announcement comes as exciting news for the business district, since the building has sat vacant for over ten years.

“The proposed brewery at the Marianne Theater will further build on the positive momentum of Northern Kentucky’s urban core. The preservation and reuse of this building is critical to vibrancy of Fairfield Avenue.  The restored building will once again be a productive asset for the City of Bellevue,” said Jeanne Schroer, President/CEO of The Catalytic Fund, which assisted the City of Bellevue by marketing and administering the RFP process.

Bellevue’s Fairfield Avenue is already home to an incredible mix of small businesses, and it is expected this addition will bring in more regional and even national visitors to the retail district.

Joe Klare, Manager of Real Estate Finance and Investments for The Catalytic Fund stated, “The proposed concept will create one of the most unique microbreweries in the country right here on Fairfield Avenue in Bellevue, Kentucky.  The brewery will help attract new visitors to Bellevue and highlight the wide variety of existing restaurants, businesses, boutiques, and other amenities already available in Bellevue.”

The City of Bellevue is also extremely excited by the proposed project coming to the city. Mayor Ed Riehl commented, “Our Marianne Theatre task force recommended this proposal because they understood it met city council’s goals of a sustainable project that brings vitality, economic development, historic preservation, and community access.  I am pleased that they found an economically viable approach for the building that allows theater seating to be incorporated in the project.  It connects with our city motto, “Preserving the past, preparing for the future.”   

Hardman Investments, LLC is no stranger to historic redevelopment projects, having completed several buildings throughout Greater Cincinnati.  The proposed project will occupy the entire Marianne Theater Building and will preserve the building’s historic features including the signature Art Deco marquee.  The developer has stated their intent to provide opportunities for community gatherings to take place in the building as well.


The Catalytic Fund was created in 2008 in order to provide a source of patient and flexible capital investment into urban development and rehab projects throughout five target investment areas located in the cities of Ludlow, Covington, Newport, Bellevue and Dayton. Today, The Catalytic Fund engages in lending and development services targeted toward urban economic development. The Catalytic Fund has lent $1.7 million to 11 projects since full lending operations began in 2013.  Residential, commercial, and mixed-use projects are eligible for Catalytic Fund support.  

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