By Sharon Aron Baron
The Coral Springs Center for the Arts own Professional Facilities Management (PFM) has been tapped to be the owner’s theatrical representative for the City of Sarasota as it embarks on the architectural design process for a new Sarasota Performing Arts Center.
PFM and its founder and President, J.L. “Lynn” Singleton, were selected by the Sarasota City Commission in a recent unanimous vote due to Singleton’s 46 years of experience in running nonprofit and for-profit theaters and his firm’s expertise in negotiating and implementing broad-ranging agreements with several cities in Florida and other locations.
The new Center will replace the 53-year-old Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, which has been facing structural and sustainability issues. The Blue Ribbon committee appointed by the City Commissioners will explore options for the hall’s future use. The new Center will be located on the 54-acre waterfront Bay Park area of Sarasota, also owned by the City of Sarasota.
Singleton said, “The responsibility of being the owner’s theatrical representative is a critical one; the city has entrusted PFM with the privilege of representing them, and we will be scrupulous and diligent in looking out for their best interests as the evaluation process begins; we thank them for their confidence in us.” PFM has successfully managed performing arts centers across the country and has guided theaters in Florida, like the Coral Springs Center for the Arts, for 28 years.
City Manager Marlon Brown stated that it is vital that the city have representation in the initial stage of this process as work begins in the coming weeks with a task force that is now in place to select an architect for the project.
“We are very pleased to have the owner’s theatrical representation by PFM and Lynn Singleton. In addition to their broad range of experience on both the building management and presenting sides, they have worked with venues in the Northeast, the Midwest, North Carolina, and several theaters in Florida. Lynn is also a part-time resident of Englewood, Florida, so he is familiar with the state and the theaters here…all in all, we think he and his firm have the ideal combination of knowledge and experience to represent the city judiciously in this process.”
If a decision to build the Sarasota Performing Arts Center goes forward, it is estimated that the groundbreaking would be in 2026, with a projected completion date and grand opening in 2028.
PFM’s corporate mission is to bring a wide variety of programming to the broadest audience while maintaining sensitivity to local constituency needs in a fiscally-responsible manner.
PFM holds management/booking contracts in nine facilities in five states.
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