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Independence Clearing Way For Movie Complex

INDEPENDENCE -- Officials are rushing to prepare 1.67 acres of municipal property in the downtown area for a proposed movie theater.

Representatives of the Vancouver, Wash.-based Prestige Development said they are close to completing the structural design and blueprints of an 18,000 square-foot complex.

The company plans to apply for a building permit soon and hopes to begin construction in April, said project manager Tammie Ferguson.

"We are anticipating an Oct. 14 grand opening," she said.

The city purchased four homes that front Third Street on the block where the Southern Pacific Hop Warehouse currently sits.

They will be cleared to make room for the 826-seat theater. A parking lot will be built on the warehouse site.

Polk County Fire District No. 1 has burned and demolished two of those homes during training exercises for the agency's personnel.

Firefighters will demolish a home at 457 S. Third St. at 9 a.m. on Saturday March 4. City Manager Greg Ellis said the last of the units will be relocated.

The city has hired a Sheridan contractor to deconstruct the 75-year-old hop warehouse for $43,000. The city will set aside 1,000 board feet for purchase by Independence residents. Prices have not yet been set.

For more information on acquiring lumber, nails or other remnants of the hop warehouse: Greg Ellis at 503-838-1212.

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