Roxy sale moves along Quincy Square project

The sale of the historic Roxy Theatre to the nonprofit that operates the Bremerton venue was celebrated Jan. 19 at the landmark venue.

The sale is seen as a major step in advancing Quincy Square, a project aimed at transforming downtown into a vibrant arts and entertainment mecca.

Sound West Group, a local real estate development group that acquired the facility in 2015, is selling the theater to the Roxy Bremerton Foundation for $818,000. The sale is expected to close at the end of the month, outgoing foundation president Steve Sego said.

Attendees at the celebration event included supporters and donors who backed refurbishment efforts of the art-deco-designed Roxy, built in 1941.

In attendance were U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, Bremerton Mayor Greg Wheeler, Kitsap County Commissioner Robert Gelder, and Port of Bremerton Commissioner Axel Strakeljahn. Also there were representatives from groups that financially backed renovations.

Quincy Square progress

The Roxy sale represents a significant step in making Quincy Square a reality, officials said.

“The Roxy Theatre plays a significant part in supporting and developing the arts in Bremerton,” Wheeler said. [It] “is situated in the heart of Quincy Square and will be a major contributor to the appeal of the district, helping to grow the arts in our community, supporting businesses, and strengthening the vibrancy of our downtown and our city.”

Kilmer, who championed efforts to get $2.5 million in federal funding for Quincy Square, sees the redevelopment benefitting several interests.

“This is about strengthening the vitality of Bremerton’s downtown core, investing in supporting small businesses, growing jobs and supporting the development of affordable housing in this area. Importantly, the role of federal funds is to make sure cost of doing that doesn’t fall just on the backs of [Bremerton] taxpayers,” he said.

The next step of the Quincy Square project will be environmental permitting, Wheeler said. “When [permitting] is done, we will be ready to break ground. We have every bit the $5.05 million in funding we need. We will transform the street into multi-use with an emphasis on pedestrians, groups and events. This will be the premiere gathering spot in Kitsap County. It will benefit our economy, our cultural enrichment, it will create more opportunities for entertainment.”

Quincy Square is expected to be completed in 2025, he added.

The project will transform 4th Street into an array of live music clubs, cultural arts, restaurants and hotels, planners say. The street will sport a keyboard design in the sidewalk. The road will be redesigned so it can be closed and become a pedestrian walkway during events. Street dances, outdoor concerts and major New Year’s Eve celebrations are expected.

Quincy Jones

Quincy Square’s namesake is Quincy Jones, the legendary musician and producer who spent part of his youth in Bremerton. His father moved the family to the Kitsap Peninsula to work at the shipyard. During an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Jones said he discovered his passion for music while living in Bremerton.

Quincy played tuba and trumpet at Coontz Junior High in Bremerton. His family lived in a segregated neighborhood known as “Sinclair Heights.” Jones has racked up more than 80 Grammy nominations and produced the record-setting Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” album, along with directing the smash single “We Are the World.”