The Woodward, unlike almost all other community theater projects, will not become a financial burden to the community. There are four forms of income producing space available in the upper floors and basement of the facility:
- Retail Space (first floor and basement) - The first floor is partially renovated and currently 100% occupied with paying tenants. It will continue to be leased primarily for retail and food service businesses.
- The future basement spaces will be marketed using two methods. First, the basement area will be advertised as direct retail rental space available primarily to artisans for making and selling their products. Second, it will be set up as an arts sales cooperative for artisans who do not have the means to maintain a full time retail operation. In addition, it is our objective to have the 101 S Main basement re-established as a snack shop as it was for almost 100 years – peanuts, popcorn, caramel crunch and the like, most probably on a smaller scale than the original retail food operation.
- Office Space (second floor - in the Woodward and Annex buildings) - When available, this space will be advertised and rented. Handicap accessible second floor office space in the heart of downtown Mount Vernon and located in one of the most historic buildings in America will be highly sought after space. Several not-for-profit entities have already signed letters of intent to use this space.
- Performing Arts Space – (third floor - in the Woodward and Annex buildings) –The model under study would turn management of the facility over to the Knox Partnership for Arts and Culture, the area arts council. This group is already establishing its model for the Woodward in the 111 South Main playhouse space as a small rehearsal and performance area with art gallery space to be included. The economic model for the final Woodward arts operation would include a monthly or per event rent for the performance facilities and a per ticket contribution levied on all income producing events to supplement the long term maintenance of the arts portion of the facility.
- Conferences and Meetings –In the daytime and many evenings, the theater, the recital room, and several other parts of the facility would be perfect for hosting meetings, small banquets, conferences, and the like thereby adding to the ability of the facility to generate supplemental income. This will correlate nicely with the existing downtown conference center and become a value added portion of the meeting and conference product in Knox County and Mount Vernon.