Dance theater considers its next move

July 28, 2010 12:30PM

The Joyce Theater

The Joyce Theater at 175 Eighth Avenue in Chelsea is facing an
uncertain future. With the expiration of its lease approaching and a
promised move-in date to Ground Zero far off, the group has been forced
to consider alternative sites after 35 years at its current location,
the New York Times reported.  The Joyce’s lease in Chelsea expires
in 2016, and dance theater officials say the landlord — the Ballet
Tech company — is seeking to charge them nearly market rent for the
space, which they now lease for $1 a year, with a commitment to
maintain the building.  Now the Joyce Theater is compelled to make
contingency plans, facility officials say.

The
most optimistic forecast would have construction begin in 2014 at the
Ground Zero site, into a building designed by Frank Gehry, for which no
fundraising has begun.  The Joyce has begun scanning the market to
review appropriate locations. Evaluating its options, it’s engaged in
long-term planning with a consulting team that includes Denham Wolf, a
real estate company that advises non-profits, and Management
Consultants for the Arts, an executive search and planning firm. The
Joyce had twice offered to buy the theater from Ballet Tech — in 2007
and again last summer — but both offers were rejected. Since then, the
two parties have been trying to work out a lease extension. [NYT]