The developer of Freeport Village Station will explain at a public meeting Monday how it plans to build a six-screen movie theater and use money from tax increment financing districts to cover some of the cost.

Boston-based Berenson Associates plans to build the 16,000-square-foot theater in its 120,000-square-foot shopping complex bordered by Main, Mill, Depot and Bow streets. The theater would replace retail space and about 33 of the 550 spots in the complex’s parking garage.

The developer is seeking a total of $750,000 in tax increment financing to help pay for the $2.3 million project. Without assistance from the town, the project will not be feasible because of the tremendous cost of retrofitting the space, said Al Yebba, Berenson’s chief operating officer.

Monday’s informational meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at the Mallet Building in Freeport Village Station.

The Destination Freeport Tax Increment Financing District and the TIF for the parking garage direct property taxes from new development toward designated projects. In this case, the project would be the conversion of the garage and retail space and the construction of the theater.

“That would allow us to cover a large chunk of those expenses that would not normally be incurred in building a theater from the ground up,” Yebba said.

New property value in a TIF district is shielded from the state’s calculation of a town’s tax base, which is used to calculate county taxes and state funding for schools.

The idea for a movie theater at Freeport Village Station emerged after a survey by the town indicated that residents would like one in Freeport. The complex had been built by the time Berenson Associates learned about the survey results, Yebba said.

Town Council Chairman Bill Muldoon said there is consensus in the business community that a theater could draw people to Freeport and get them to stay longer.

“The next step is to give people a reason to stay for an extended period of time other than retail,” he said, “and I think the movie theater fits in perfectly with that.”

The Freeport Economic Development Corp. will weigh in on the TIF proposal by the time the Town Council holds a public hearing on it, Aug. 10, said Executive Director Sandy Updegraph. She said a movie theater would be valuable because it would provide an entertainment option for visitors of various ages.

“Millions and millions come every year. They come and shop and have lunch. This is a reason to consider Freeport for an overnight stay,” she said.

The theater would have about 790 seats. There would be stadium seating for some of the screens and sloped seating for others. One screen would have a 3-D digital projector.

The operator would be Massachusetts-based Belmont Capital, which operates theaters in New England, New York and New Jersey under the name Your Neighborhood Theaters. In Maine, it operates the Windham Five Star Cinema 7, the Wells Five Star Cinema 7 and the Bangor Mall Cinemas 10.

Yebba said the hope is to incorporate “Nordica Theatre” into the cinema’s name. The original Nordica Theatre operated on Bow Street until the early 1970s. It was named for Lillian Nordica, a famed opera singer from Farmington, said Christina White, executive director of the Freeport Historical Society.

Yebba said the developer’s goal is to open the theater in time for the Nov. 19 premier of the first part of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.”

“There are a lot of things that need to happen between now and then,” he said. “Everything would have to go extremely well to meet that date.”

Staff Writer Ann S. Kim can be contacted at 791-6383 or at:

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