STC & Erkiletian Real Estate to Develop Southeast University Campus
The Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC), recipient of the 2012 Regional Theatre Tony Award, announced today that company leadership will develop the Southeastern University property at 501 I Street SW in partnership with Erkiletian Real Estate. STC announced its contract to purchase the site in late 2013. The Company plans to transform the property into a residence for actor and apprentice housing, rehearsal and performance space, storage for costume and set equipment, education classrooms, and the STC administrative headquarters.
For over 40 years, Erkiletian has developed, constructed and owned properties in the Washington, D.C area. The business has a wide range of commercial and residential properties in their portfolio, rendering them a good match for STC's proposed mixed-use space.
"Since 2005, we have been exploring ways to create a permanent home for the Company," says Managing Director Chris Jennings. "Erkiletian's commitment and knowledge of Washington, D.C. caters to our ambition to create a community space for STC and DC theatre. Their constant support of the theatre reflects that they will be equally as passionate about this project as we are."
The yet-unnamed 501 I Street SW project will be the company's first foray into the southwest quadrant. STC currently leases production and administrative offices in Mt. Rainer, MD and several D.C. locations in Brookland and Barracks Row. As an STC-owned building, the project will provide a centralized location for STC operations and housing. Performances will continue to be held at Sidney Harman Hall and the Lansburgh Theatre in Penn Quarter.
"The Shakespeare Theatre Company has continued to expand, both physically and in our vision of how we produce classical work through a distinctly modern lens. It is exciting to be able to support that growth with physical spaces for not just the productions themselves, but for the artists and staff that create the art," says Artistic Director Michael Kahn. "Chris Jennings has worked tirelessly to help us find a place to call our own, and this location is not only ideal for the company, but will allow us to aid in the revitalization of D.C.'s southwest quadrant."
In addition to a full public benefits and amenities package to be delivered in conjunction with the redevelopment, Jennings hopes the new location will foster partnerships with local community organizations and the STC Education department's programming. With the addition of more rehearsal studios and performance spaces, Southwest community members will be able to take advantage of the new location's resources at a reduced rate. This is a current practice in The Forum space in Sidney Harman Hall and the rehearsal and Education studio spaces at the Company's administrative offices. The many organizations that currently benefit from the company's leased spaces include: American University, Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, Capitol Hill Townhomes, Catholic University, The Suzanne Farrell Ballet, Synetic Theatre, and Washington Performing Arts Society.
More details on design and development of the project to come later this year.