Royal Theater may become retail, 30 apartments – if owner can get state grant back

Officials from music mogul Kenny Gamble’s Universal Companies pitched a new preliminary plan last night for the decaying Royal Theater on South Street near 15th. All but the facade would be torn down.

royal theater

In place of the historic theater would be a building housing about 30 apartments, 7,000 square feet of retail space, 13 parking spots and, facing adjacent Kater Street, six townhouses with garages.

The Daily News reported that Universal lost a previous state redevelopment grant of $2.2 million after previous redevelopment plans stalled (remember that idea for an R&B hall of fame?) and they’re looking to get that back to be able to execute this plan. A couple other tidbits that came out of the meeting: Universal brought in developer Carl Dranoff to consult, and someone filed a legal motion to make developer Ori Feibush the theater’s conservator.

Perhaps the most interesting thing, though, was reporter David Gambacorta’s live tweeting. Here’s a sampling, some informative, others just plain funny: