TempleLive restarts Cleveland work, plans to buy a ‘Gold Dome’ and names new president

by Michael Tilley ([email protected]) 1,385 views 

Rogers-based Beaty Capital Group, which owns and manages TempleLive in downtown Fort Smith, is back on track with a $60 million project in Cleveland and has hired Rob Thomas as president of the TempleLive umbrella that has music venues in Arkansas, Kansas and Ohio.

Beaty Capital owns three former Masonic Temples in which TempleLive hosts national live music and entertainment acts. The company 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 approximately $5 million in renovations.

Lance Beaty, president of Beaty Capital, announced Jan. 29, 2019, completion of the first phase of an estimated $8 million, two-phase renovation of the Masonic Temple in Cleveland acquired in March 2017. At the time, Beaty said the company could potentially invest $18 million in upgrades and renovations. Beaty Capital announced March 5, 2019, it had acquired the Wichita Scottish Rite Center in the heart of downtown Wichita, Kan.

“I’m thrilled to oversee operations and expand the programming of our venue portfolio across the country,” Rob Thomas, TempleLive president, said in a statement. “The TempleLive brand is exciting; we take beautiful historical buildings and breathe new life into them with live music, corporate and private events, and community programming. I’m looking forward to applying my experience in the music business to further develop TempleLive venues as a premium touring destination for artists and agencies.”

Thomas previously served as a talent buyer at Live Nation and booked the long-running music venue Bogart’s in Cincinnati, Ohio. Thomas also booked Riverfront Live and other clubs and theaters in Cincinnati. Thomas’ responsibilities include overseeing programming, operations, and management throughout the existing TempleLive portfolio as well as adding other venues into TempleLive’s portfolio through booking agreements and acquisitions. Mike Brown, who formally held the position, left the company in early December.

“We are excited about the industry experience, professionalism, and high energy level Rob brings to our organization. The pandemic has been a real challenge for the live entertainment industry and TempleLive was no different. The industry as a whole is now on the way back and we are looking forward to working with Rob and his team to expand the company’s footprint by adding additional venues in the central states,” Beaty said.

Beaty announced in May 2020 the company was partnering with New York City-based Dream Hotel Group to build the first of a “Dream Hotel” brand at the TempleLive music venue in Cleveland. The project, then estimated $60 million, will result in a 207-room “lifestyle hotel” to include restaurants, “nightlife venues,” a fitness center and 100,000 square feet of meeting and event space. The project will also include a 400-space parking deck. Hotel guests will also be able to access the renovated 2,300-seat theater in the Masonic Temple.

Beaty told Talk Business & Politics that construction in Cleveland is slated to begin in June 2022, with hotel work beginning in 2023.

The Masonic Temple is located in Midtown Cleveland at 3615 Euclid Ave., east of Playhouse Square and near the Cleveland State University Campus. It was built in 1921 and was the original residence of the Cleveland Orchestra. The seven-story Temple building contains approximately 226,000 square feet of space.

“Wichita is open for normal business operations with both live music and private events. The 2022 live event and show calendars are beginning to fill and we have seen a notable uptick in booking and touring activity across all markets,” Beaty said.

Beaty also said the company is moving forward with plans to purchase and renovate the historic “Gold Dome” property in Oklahoma City it purchased this summer.

The property, once a bank when it was built in 1958, has been vacant for years and was recently saved from demolition by preservationists. Beaty Capital bought the property from Johnathan Russell with plans to convert it into a performance venue.

“Since we purchased the Gold Dome in 2015, the goal has been to preserve the building, find a use that allows the public access, and adds to the economic and cultural fabric of the community. TempleLive is the perfect occupant to accomplish all of those goals,” Russell said in this report from The Oklahoman.

Beaty did not disclose an estimate on the renovation investment but said they plan to close on the property in the first quarter of 2022.