The future performing arts center in the City Springs project now has a management contract in place, allowing the city to quickly hire a general manager and start booking acts for an expected January 2018 opening.

An interior design concept illustration for the theater in the performing arts center in the City Springs project.

The “PAC,” as it’s nicknamed, is a key part of City Springs, a public-private redevelopment at Johnson Ferry Road and Mount Vernon Highway that also will include a new City Hall, among other uses. The company Global Spectrum, doing business as Spectra Venue Management, won the PAC management contract last year. On June 21, the City Council approved the financial part of that deal.

The city will pay escalating monthly fees to Spectra: $5,000 during start-up, $6,000 over the next year of preparation, and $8,500 when the PAC is fully operational. Spectra also gets 20 percent of revenue above a certain benchmark to be determined, and 7.5 percent of food and beverage sales. As an incentive, the company can earn up to a $20,000 annual bonus based on performance measures. Meanwhile, other “commercial rights fees”—which include facility naming rights—are still being worked out, city officials said.

Spectra also will begin hiring a general manager to run and book the venue. The city has budgeted an estimated $140,000 general manager salary, and officials say the position will be filled by early September. Booking acts needs to begin soon, since that is done about 12 to 18 months before the performances, a Spectra official said.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.