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