Dear Friend of Artists Rep,
Here, at the start of our first season of ART on Tour, we have exciting news to share that sets the stage for our theatre’s future: we are thrilled to report that after four years of consideration and planning, Artists Rep successfully closed the sale of the north half of our block to Wood Partners in mid-July. Wood Partners is the #2 builder of apartments in the US, and has been highly collaborative throughout this process. Reaching this milestone is a pivotal step forward for Artists Rep, as we pursue long-term operational stability while passionately pursuing our mission to produce intimate, provocative theatre and provide a home for a diverse community of artists and audiences to take creative risks.
Construction has begun on a 22-story building on the Alder side of the block, with 314 units of housing, underground parking, and ground-floor retail/restaurant space that will continue to reinvigorate our Goose Hollow neighborhood. The new building will be known as the “Art Tower” and is one of the first buildings to be built under Portland’s new inclusionary zoning code: 10% of the apartments will be available at 60% of median income for 60 years. It will also include a performance space in its lobby, which we will help to program. The opportunity to have a diverse and thriving community literally next door to our redeveloped home is a key component of our long-range planning, and we look forward to an ongoing collaboration with Wood Partners.
Our board and staff have been working with a highly accomplished design and construction team throughout this complex and multi-phase process. The team includes Lever Architecture, theatre consultants Fisher Dachs Associates, Howard S. Wright Construction, and ART’s owner’s representative Shiels Obletz Johnsen. Prior to the building sale, we completed Phase 1A of the project: the separation of the utilities from the north half of the block so that Artists Rep can operate independently on the southern half of the block in the future. We are now involved in Phase 1B, which includes demolition of the northern half of the building from the remaining structure, along with infilling the voids to create the new exterior wall. Phase 2 is the design and redevelopment of our building, which began its process concurrently with Phases 1A and 1B.
The design team is nearing the completion of the Schematic Design Phase of Artists Rep’s redeveloped home. This early step in the design process included meetings with multiple stakeholders (including ArtsHub companies, ART artists, staff, board members, ART donors, and community members) to gain insight into what is important to our extended community. Completion of schematic design results in drawings that illustrate the basic concepts of a new design (i.e., square footage, and location of all key building elements – two theaters, four rehearsal halls, backstage areas, office space, and modern restrooms). Pricing of this design is currently underway by Howard S. Wright Construction to provide ART a clear picture of costs as we move forward.
With the proceeds from the building sale as a lead gift in the capital campaign, our redeveloped building will be a vital investment in securing Portland’s (and Artists Rep’s) future as a home for local artists making world-class theatre. We look forward to sharing the initial design of our new home with you as we launch our upcoming season, and will continue to update you on the project as it develops. If you missed previous updates, you can find them here ; we’re committed to a transparent process and will continue to communicate with you as the project moves forward.
Even as we proceed with our building project, we are deep in preparation for our upcoming 2019/20 Season of ART on Tour, Artists Rep’s 37th year of presenting thought-provoking and timely new plays. In just a few days, we’ll have our first rehearsal for 1984 , a season opener that demonstrates ART is not afraid of tackling big, complex work while we travel around the city for the next few seasons. We’ll continue setting the artistic bar as high as we can, and hope you’ll join us for these extraordinary plays that will challenge expectations and invite conversation.
See you at the theatre(s) soon!