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Council to hear Mill Race Amphitheater proposal

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Renovation plans for the Custer-Nugent Amphitheater cleared the first of many hurdles Monday, when a Cleveland architectural firm impressed a group of city officials who will decide whether to pursue the project.

But the city has yet to hire Westlake Reed Leskosky to complete the renovations to the amphitheater in Mill Race Park.

Matt Janiak, a principal with the Cleveland firm, presented the company's conceptual designs to the Columbus Redevelopment Commission in an hour-long presentation, complete with artist renderings, cost estimates and a potential schedule for the project, pending a start date.

Mayor Kristen Brown said while Janiak impressed commission members, she wants to gauge the Columbus City Council's interest in the project before moving forward with any contract negotiations.

The council's approval is crucial, she said. That's because if the commission decided to fund the project with tax-increment financing, or TIF, dollars, the council also would have to be in favor of spending the money, since it must approve any spending greater than $500,000.

For more on this story, see Wednesday's Republic.

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