By Matt Artz
Monday, September 5th, 2011 at 11:09 pm in Uncategorized.
Not sure if he might have other reasons for deciding against demolition, but for what it’s worth, you guys now can walk up to Dirk Lorenz, look him in the eye, and tell him you’ve done more to save the Center Theater than he ever has.
Hello everyone. After reading many of your comments, I have decided to respond and show you my point of view. I hope that you take the time to read what I have to say.
My name is David Siddiq and I am currently the owner of Center Theatre in Fremont. Seven years ago, I purchased Center Theatre when it was run down and needed extensive renovations, but I decided to purchase it because I had a vision for it. I had a vision that I could restore Center Theatre back to prominence and revitalize the Centerville Area and turn the Fremont downtown center into an area that would rival Pleasanton’s downtown or Walnut Creek’s downtown. Unfortunately, however, the City of Fremont’s consistent denials of my requests to expand operations at the Theatre have left me with few options. Like most people in this economy, I cannot afford to maintain a business that produces no income whatsoever.
For those of you who are attacking me as not caring about the City of Fremont, you could not be further from the truth. In the past 30 years, I have done many things to revitalize this area including (but not limited to): constructing 4 different shopping centers, opening a banquet hall, cycle center, pizza shop, and opening a restaurant to attract business to this area. I love Fremont and you are right, this is not Little Kabul, this is Centerville and respect the heritage that comes to this territory. By remodeling and revitalizing Center Theatre, I had the same hopes that the City of Fremont had which is to build a community arts facility and theatre which could be enjoyed by everyone in our community. The city, however, has been far from helpful in this process and has consistently halted any progress I have made in an effort to force me to sell the property to them. I will not give into these strong-arm tactics, however, because I believe that I have a vision that can help revitalize this entire area and stimulate our local economy. I do not believe that the City of Fremont can make the changes I can because, let’s be honest, our down town area has not seen any changes within the past 30 years. While cities like Pleasanton, Livermore, and Walnut Creek continue to make concessions to help attract business owners and update their downtown areas, the City of Fremont is doing the opposite—making business owners like myself not want to do business in Fremont anymore and demolishing existing buildings in the area with no plans to construct new ones.
I apologize to anyone who may have been offended by my reference to the “Centerville Dump.” I hope you can understand that these comments stem from my growing frustration with the City council members, and not with the City of Fremont. I love Fremont and have lived here for over 30 years. My adult children have gone to high school in this city (MSJ) and I have sponsored local sports teams here for over 20 years. I want nothing more for this city than to rejuvenate the Theatre and bring this Theatre back so that consumers like yourselves can come back and relive past memories here.
At this time, after reading your responses, I have decided to HALT demolition for the time being. I do not want to let my emotions ruin any progress that I have made on revitalizing this Theatre but I need your help at this time. If you would like the Theatre to stay, please call your local City Council representatives and convey your feelings. Furthermore, if you have any ideas on how you would like the Theatre to proceed, please feel free to call me at 510-390-1000. Additionally, if anyone feels that they would be more capable of running this Theatre, I am open to making a lease arrangement. Thank you for your time.