Fort Smith-based Beaty Capital Group has added a third Masonic Temple to its portfolio of entertainment venues that began with the November 2014 acquisition of the historic Temple in downtown Fort Smith.
The Wichita Scottish Rite Center located at 332 E. First St. N., in the heart of downtown Wichita, Kan., has been sold. Terms of the private transaction were not disclosed. The Wichita facility was first constructed between 1887-88 for the Young Men’s Christian Association, and was sold to the Scottish Rite Freemasons in 1898. The building was expanded in 1907 and in 1956.
“Today, the Scottish Rite Center hosts the activities of the area’s Masonic Lodges, and their affiliates such as the Signature Theatre and the Knights of St. Andrew Wichita Valley. The building will continue to be home to the Scottish Rite for the foreseeable future as the sale is accompanied by a lease back to the Scottish Rite,” noted a statement from Beaty Capital Group.
According to Beaty Capital, the building is used for weddings, corporate events and theatrical and musical events. The transaction allows the building and the Scottish Rite to continue to use the Scottish Rite Center for its activities exactly as it has for more than 100 years. Beaty’s TempleLive company will be engaged to bring new music and theatrical events to the Wichita facility.
“We have a history with these historic structures across the country and every time we acquire a new historic building, we are always a bit overwhelmed with the enormous responsibility it places on us to step into, touch and become a part of the history of each community in which we operate,” said Beaty Capital owner Lance Beaty. “This building has been a part of thousands of lives over more than century and we are committed to preserving and honoring that history while preserving the building so that it can be enjoyed by the Wichita community for another century.”
Beaty acquired the historic 53,000-square-foot Masonic Temple in downtown Fort Smith in November 2014 in a $2.5 million deal. The three-story building at 200 N. 11th St. was built in 1928 and has numerous meeting rooms and a theatre capable of seating 900. It reopened as TempleLive in August 2017 after around $5 million in renovations.
The investment group announced Jan. 29 it was completing the first phase of an estimated $8 million, two-phase renovation of the 200,000-square-foot Masonic Temple in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cleveland Masonic Temple building was purchased by Beaty Capital in March 2017. At the time, Beaty said they might potentially invest $18 million in upgrades and renovations. Beaty said Temple operations in Cleveland and Fort Smith employ a combined 100 people, depending on the event schedule at both venues.