News About Oddfellows Hall Should Come Monday

As we first reported a month ago, Oddfellows Hall--the Capitol Hill home to the Velocity dance studio, Century ballroom, and a number of other arts organizations--has been sold, and there's been much anxious murmuring since about what the plans might be. Well, the buyer, Ted Schroth of GTS Development (which also did Trace Lofts), tells me he plans to send out a press release on Monday outlining his plans.

Some insight can already be gleaned from the permit status report for the project on the Seattle DPD Web site. As our Sandi Kurtz observes, it proproses changes to the 1st and 4th floors of the four-story building. Specifically, the developers (via their architects) are proposing to change the usage of some spaces from "assembly" (theater, meeting space, etc.) to B (business use, usually offices).

Says Sandi: "The changes that are germane to the arts use of the building are the ones on the 4th floor, where Velocity operates the old Seattle Mime Theater space, now called the Chamber Theater. [It's where Ghost Light is putting on Rosencrantz right now.] It's been a relatively popular space for artists who self-produce -- it was fairly inexpensive, both as a theater and as a rehearsal space, it came with a lighting set-up in place, it's in a well-know building.It looks from the job description that the new owners would be closing that space if they follow through with their proposed remodel."

However, it appears that there are no immediate plans for the 2nd and 3rd floors, which would leave the major arts tenants intact. We should find out more on Monday.

UPDATE: Longenbaugh reports that Robyn Smith of Freehold Theatre met with the new owners and came away dismayed. She says her group is now working under the assumption that their spaces on the ground floor (offices, rehearsal rooms) will be turned into retail (alongside the running store).

Smith told John the lease agreement is set up so that the new owners can have tenants move out in six months under a renovation/demolition clause, and they expect to be homeless by April.

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