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Grow Ossining Receives State Approval To Raise Funds For Opera House

The Olive Opera House in Ossining was built in 1865 and hosted live and film entertainment.
The Olive Opera House in Ossining was built in 1865 and hosted live and film entertainment. Photo Credit: Contributed

OSSINING, N.Y. – A community-based investment group has received state authorization to move forward with plans to develop a property suitable for a “unique social, entertainment and dining destination in downtown Ossining,” officials said Thursday.

Grow Ossining has identified the 150-year-old Olive Opera House as the site for its project. The group is to formally launch the Grow Ossining Olive Opera House Fund LP with a funding campaign kick-off event from 4 to 7 p.m., Nov. 14. Building tours will be given.

According to the organization, the project is a form of “locavesting,” which seeks to encourage community growth by rallying financial support from the local community. Under this model, residents can take part in the venture, share in its growth and experience a greater portion of the development's benefits.

Grow Ossining, which launched the first phase of its development project about a year ago, and the second phase not long after now moves into phase three, according to an organization statement.

The Olive Opera House, identified as the project site after a series of information meetings and tours of the tri-level building in late February, appears to be a popular selection.

Grow Ossining said it raised $50,000 for the project within the first week of fund raising efforts. Grow Ossining Management LLC and Grow Ossining Olive Opera House Fund LP were formed, in part, as a result of the positive response, according to organizers.

“We remain enthused by the outpouring of community support for the project since its inception,” said Dennis Kirby, co-founder of Grow Ossining and a 31-year town resident. “When you raise that level of funding in one week, you have to feel confident that the community recognizes the incredible opportunity we envision in this unique project.”

Wayne Spector, another group co-founder, said Grow Ossining hopes to raise $300,000 by Jan. 8, 2016, in order to enter an agreement to formally purchase the building at 63-67 Central Ave. By October 2016, the group hopes to have raised $1 million.

Grow Ossining continues to work toward the redevelopment of Ossining’s historic downtown area. For more information about the project, visit Grow Ossining, Grow Ossining's Facebook page or the Olive Opera House.

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