The Irish Arts Center in Hell’s Kitchen is planning to give its performing community and fans some additional breathing room with a new $54 million home close to its present location.
The center, which hosts performances of singers, dancers and other Irish entertainers, is currently squeezed into a 5,000-square-foot space in a former apartment building at 553 West 51st Street. Its leaders plan to buy and redevelop a building at 728 11th Avenue between West 51st and West 52nd streets to give the center a new home, the New York Times reported.
Jonathan Rose Companies is managing the project, to be designed by Ciaran O’Connor, the chief state architect for Ireland’s Office of Public Works, with Davis Brody Bond, the architect of record.
The 1916 building is now occupied by a tire shop, but the center would add five new stories, effectively doubling theatre capacity to nearly 200 seats and increasing operating space by 30,000 square feet, the Times reported. The center has raised $37.5 million for construction so far, with the help of actor Liam Neeson pushing for donations. [NYT] — Angela Hunt