Plans to turn Lake George’s Forum building into a multi-use community facility took another step forward as the Lake George Village Board and Lake George Town Board accepted a proposal from the MRB Group of Saratoga Springs to provide consulting services related to a business plan for the potential project.
The Forum building, located on Route 9, just south of the village, is presently owned by Ralph Macchio and was formerly a skating rink.
Recently Upstate Appraisal Services completed an appraisal of the property for the Town and Village. The Forum was valued at $2.3M and three adjoining parcels at approximately $1.0M. They are all owned by the Macchio family.
The Steering Committee, appointed in August by Mayor Blais, is investigating the use of the building as a music hall, festival space and the area’s largest conference/convention center.
The adjoining properties would serve as a public parking lot of approximately two acres, serviced by a shuttle service, to accommodate events at the Forum, the Festival Commons and Town/Village events. Located on Route 9 and Fort George Road it is an ideal location for a shuttle service.
Members of the committee include Alex Lombard, Jonathan Newell, John Strong and Tom Lloyd along with others who have extensive experience in the arts, music venues and converting buildings into successful operations.
The feasibility study will explore the potential re-use of the property, conduct a market study of the event space, competitive positioning in the area, likely rental costs and assess the potential financial impact.
The Committee will then explore grant funding opportunities, management, leases and overall impact on the community.
Presently the building is underutilized according to Mayor Blais and has the potential to become a major destination for music performances, festivals and conferences.
“The building and adjacent property is presently for sale and we would be remiss if we didn’t investigate its use as a community asset,” Mayor Blais said.
The potential to solve the Village and Town’s parking problems and the revenues are a major part of the considerations according to the Mayor.