Auburn City Council approves purchase of site of former Max House apartments

At its meeting on Monday, June 6, the Auburn City Council unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the city to purchase the vacant land where the Max House apartments once stood at 101 E Main St. in downtown town of Auburn.

Purchasing the property will cost the city $412,900, according to the purchase agreement.

On July 24, 2021, a fire almost completely destroyed the Max House Apartments building and damaged the Auburn Avenue Theater next door. As a result of the fire, the Max House Apartments building was demolished.

Damage from the fire rendered the Auburn Avenue Theater unusable, according to council documents.

The Auburn Avenue Theater has been closed to the public since January 2022 due to concerns about the structural integrity of the building. All performances scheduled at the theater this season have been canceled or postponed to another venue.

The purchase of the property allows the city to rebuild or redevelop the Auburn Avenue Theater without having to change the location of the theater.

The city has already invested money to develop the Center for Arts and Culture on the same block, so purchasing this land will allow the city to continue its work of developing a vibrant downtown, according to the board.

“The purchase of the Max House property will not only further support previous investments made, but will demonstrate a continued dedication to downtown Auburn, Auburn residents, the creative arts and the formation of an arts district. by providing the additional property needed to redevelop and/or rebuild the theater,” the resolution says.

Councilor Kate Baldwin presented the resolution to council.

City staff recommended this adoption to approve the purchase and sale agreement,” Baldwin said. “This is land adjacent to the Auburn Avenue Theater and gives us a great opportunity for the city to work towards developing this space.

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