Skylight Music Theatre sells Broadway Theatre Center

Organization enters 50-year leaseback deal

The Broadway Theatre Center at 158 N. Broadway in the Historic Third Ward.

Skylight Music Theatre has sold the Broadway Theatre Center to developer Robert Joseph and entered into a 50-year leaseback deal with him that will allow the organization to continue performing at the Historic Third Ward facility.

Broadway Theatre Center

Skylight sold the theater at 158 N. Broadway to Broadway Theatre LLC for $3.5 million, according to state records.

Under the deal, the organization will continue to perform in the Cabot and Studio Theatres of the center. Milwaukee Chamber Theatre and Renaissance Theaterworks will also continue to perform at the center.

The sale will help ensure the musical theater group’s financial stability and allow it to rebuild its endowment, Skylight officials said in an announcement Wednesday.

“In Skylight’s role as owner/landlord of the Broadway Theatre Center, we have been examining options for the building to address deferred maintenance, create liquidity and stabilize finances,” Skylight officials said. “This sale/leaseback allows Skylight to be out of the building management business, which had become a significant drain on resources. Skylight’s efforts can now be focused on our core competency and mission of producing the full spectrum of music theater.”

Joseph plans to make improvements to the building, including replacing or upgrading the HVAC system and elevator and renovating the office tower.

Skylight officials said they also plan to upgrade the lighting and sound systems in the 358-seat Cabot Theatre.

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