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Duluth OKs Eddie Owen Lease

Eddie's Attic namesake will book live music acts at Red Clay Theatre in Duluth.

Eddie Owen, the founder and former manager of , is coming to Duluth.

In a meeting Thursday afternoon, the Duluth City Council approved a two-year lease agreement with Owen that allows the music promoter to use the Red Clay Theatre in Duluth as a live music venue.

“Eddie Owen Presents” at the Red Clay Theatre could open by Thanksgiving weekend.

Owen founded and used to own Eddie's Attic, and in recent years he's managed the club next to Decatur City Hall. He helped put Decatur on the musical map by creating a comfortable space where performers such as the Indigo Girls and John Mayer matured.

The Duluth City Council had delayed action on the agreement at a previous  meeting Monday, Oct. 24, to give the council, the city attorney and Owen’s attorney time to review the document.

Owen didn't attend the Thursday meeting, but he appeared before the council Oct. 10 to make a formal presentation to use the Red Clay after negotiating over the summer with Duluth Economic Development Manager Chris McGahee.

The agreement between Owen and the city allows him to manage the 250-seat Red Clay Theatre in downtown Duluth and book musical acts on its stage.

Owen plans to present live musicians in nighttime concerts at the Red Clay Theatre and offer workshops and classes for singers, songwriters and musicians during the daytime.

Under the agreement adopted by the council, the city and Owen will split the net profits of “Eddie Owen Presents” at the Red Clay Theatre 60/40 with EOP receiving 60 percent. EOP would keep 100 percent of the net profit from concession sales.

EOP will take over paying the Red Clay Theatre’s utility bills starting April 1, 2012, and immediately begin payin

This will relieve the city of the $45,000 annual cost of keeping the theatre operating.

The city, which owns the theatre, agreed to pay an estimated $16,000 to $20,000 in county, city and school property taxes that likely would be assessed since the theatre will become a for-profit operation.

The taxes will be paid from the city's share of revenue generated by EOP.

 Owen didn't attend the Thursday meeting.

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