Theater company closes on MiMA commercial unit purchase

By Katherine Clarke | August 17, 2011 05:45PM

Midtown-based Signature Theater Company has closed on its purchase of a commercial unit at 450 West 42nd Street for $6.666 million, according to public records filed with the city yesterday. The purchase, which closed July 20, marks another step toward the completion of its new $60 million home within MiMA, the Related Companies’ high-rise mixed-use development, which is also home to the Yotel Hotel. The facility is due to open in February 2011.

A publicist for Signature confirmed the purchase, saying that the new space will allow the company to expand its programming “exponentially.” The Frank Gehry-designed 70,000-square-foot center will feature three theatres, including a 199-seat proscenium theatre, a 199-seat flexible courtyard theatre and a 299-seat end stage theatre, as well as a rehearsal studio, café, bookstore, and offices all on one level.

Signature had initially intended to build in the Financial District but James Houghton, the company’s artistic director, said he is happy with the new location.

“This site is much more sympathetic to what we were going after. We’re [staying in the] the Theater District,” he told the New York Times last year. The company is currently based at 555 West 42nd Street near 11th Avenue.

The city is contributing $25 million toward the construction of the theater, which began in 2009.

A Related spokesperson declined to comment on the sale beyond saying that the theater building would open early next year.