Monday, October 20, 2014

STC & Erkiletian Development Co. Close on Southeastern U. Campus Property

Big plans in store for 501 I Street, SW

From our friends at the Shakespeare Theatre Company...

The Shakespeare Theatre Company and Erkiletian Development Company are pleased to announce that they have closed on the former Southeastern University building, located at 501 I Street SW. The redevelopment of the site will allow STC to consolidate rehearsal spaces, housing for artists and interns, costume and prop shops, education classrooms and administrative offices to one location.

The final closing was dependent upon lifting a historic landmark application, which had been put into place in July. An agreement was reached between Shakespeare Theatre Company, Erkiletian and the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly (SWNA), which will provide for public and community benefits to the neighborhood. Erkiletian made a contribution to support SWNA’s community improvement efforts.

“This agreement is just the first step in solidifying our dedication to this new community we are joining,” says Shakespeare Theatre Managing Director Chris Jennings. “We hope that it will foster an early dialogue for partnerships and educational opportunities as we establish a permanent home for all of our support facilities.”  

The community benefits agreement, which was reached on September 17, outlines a series of benefits that STC will provide to the larger neighborhood, including educational programming for neighboring schools and community groups; access to STC assembly spaces and/or conference rooms for community meetings; ticket donations and discounted classes; and the theatre’s participation in community festivals and events.

“We realized that if Shakespeare did not develop its project on the property, the likelihood that another user would come along would be slim, given how long it took for anyone to show interest in the property,” says Kael Anderson, SWNA President. “We felt it was more important to establish a dialogue with a potential non-profit developer in order to establish benefits for the community, than to save this particular building.”

Shakespeare Theatre Company and Erkiletian Development Company have already initiated conversations with members and groups from the community regarding design plans for the new facility. The next phase will include meeting with the larger community and hosting a charrette in the next couple of months. As part of the design process, the goal of these ongoing discussions is to hear the priorities and concerns of the neighborhood.

About the Shakespeare Theatre Company:
Recipient of the 2012 Regional Theatre Tony Award, the Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) has become one of the nation’s leading theatre companies. Today, STC is synonymous with artistic excellence and making classical theatre more accessible.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Kahn and Managing Director Chris Jennings, STC’s innovative approach to Shakespeare and other classic playwrights has earned it the reputation as the nation’s premier classical theatre company. By focusing on works with profound themes, complex characters and poetic language written by Shakespeare, his contemporaries and the playwrights he influenced, the Company’s artistic mission is unique among theatre companies: to present theatre of scope and size in an imaginative, skillful and accessible American style that honors the playwrights’ language and intentions while viewing their work through a 21st-century lens.

A leader in arts education, STC has a stable of initiatives that teach and excite learners of all ages, from school programs and acting classes to discussion series as well as accessible programs like the annual Free For All, one of STC’s most beloved annual traditions, allowing audiences to experience Shakespeare at no charge.

Located in our nation’s capital, STC performs in two theatres, the Lansburgh Theatre and Sidney Harman Hall in downtown Washington, D.C., creating a dynamic, cultural hub of activity that showcases STC as well as outstanding local performing arts groups and nationally renowned organizations. STC moved into the 451-seat Lansburgh Theatre in March 1992, after six years in residency in the Folger Library’s Elizabethan theatre. At that time the Penn Quarter neighborhood was not considered desirable by many; since then, STC has helped drive its revitalization. The 774-seat Sidney Harman Hall opened in October 2007.

Erkiletian Development Company, with over 40 years of experience, is extremely dedicated to creating innovative, forward thinking communities, with a focus on sustainability. Our recently completed projects have obtained LEED Silver and Gold certifications, a testament to our pursuit of developing high quality buildings that are environmentally responsible. Today, our portfolio of residential projects is proof of our dedication to creating pleasing and effective environments that flourish and grow into desirable destinations. With each project, we give thoughtfulness to our design and recognize we are becoming a part of the community around us.