Local Theatre Companies Break Ground with 12th Avenue Arts Today
New Century Theatre Company, Washington Ensemble Theatre, Strawberry Theatre Workshop, and Capitol Hill Housing are pleased to announce the groundbreaking of 12th Avenue Arts, a visionary new project on Capitol Hill that will combine affordable housing, arts space, nonprofit offices, and local retail shops. The building will contain two flexible theatre spaces; a 150-seat theatre to be shared by NCTC and Strawshop and an 80-seat theatre to house Washington Ensemble Theatre. Both spaces will be available for rental opportunities when not in use by the resident companies.
"There is a shortage of performance space in Seattle. As a young company without a permanent home, we have found ourselves spending more and more time searching for space and less time working on our programming," said New Century Theatre managing director Jamie Herlich. "It's a challenge to find space suitable for the level of production we do (that has enough power and lighting) and that is affordable and available. 12th Avenue Arts is a dream as it will provide a permanent performance home for all three companies, will be equipped with the most current and capable equipment and is located in the heart of a thriving arts scene. We are honored to have the opportunity to steward this amazing community asset." The three companies have created Black Box Ops LLC, a new nonprofit organization, which will manage the day-to-day operations of the two theatre spaces. Black Box Ops will be hiring a small staff, including a Facilities Manager, to run the operation.
The groundbreaking will take place today, February 21 at 12:30pm in the lobby of
Velocity Dance Theatre. Confirmed speakers include Mayor McGinn. The public is invited to attend.
12th Avenue Arts will transform a surface parking lot into a beautiful building-integrating affordable housing, performing arts space, community meeting space, and local retail-all under one roof. Working with the City of Seattle, arts groups, local businesses, and community
leaders, Capitol Hill Housing is activating a key block to ensure diverse benefits for the entire
neighborhood. The building will have an 18-month construction period and will open in 2014.
The total project cost is approximately $47 Million. The project architect is SMR Architects and
the general contractor is Walsh Construction.