Music Star Promotes the Arts in Macedon

Alicia Keys with husband Kasseem "Swizz Beatz" Dean at the NRJ Music Awards 2013. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Photo by Georges Biard

On Monday, August 19, the Macedon Planning Board will discuss zoning for an 111-acre property on route 31 – property that musician Alicia Keys and her husband Kasseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean want to turn into a performing arts campus. On hand at the meeting will be the couple’s attorney, Linda Shaw, to determine whether the first phase of the project “is acceptable under the current zoning” guidelines, reports the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

Shaw introduced the project to Town Board members on Thursday, August 7.

The proposed project will repurpose three vacant buildings at the former industrial site of Jindal Films; a total of nearly 200,000 square feet, reports the D&C. Originally constructed in the 1960s, the buildings once served as headquarters for Exxon Mobil’s Film Division.

The plan includes renovating the property’s main office building and converting it into classrooms and offices “to educate musicians and artists about the business side of the music and art industry,” said the article. A pole barn would become an art museum, and would permanently house the Dean family’s large art collection. The museum would be open to the public.

An additional industrial building would be turned into a performing arts center, large gym and training area for musicians and artists.

The project approval should be quick, Macedon Town Engineer Scot Allen told the D&C; possibly as soon as the end of August.

A second project phase – building dorms and other housing for those attending or teaching at the campus – was also introduced by Shaw, he added. It would require rezoning and call for additional town approval.


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