HERE Arts Center Ensures Future By Purchasing Downtown Manhattan Space

News   HERE Arts Center Ensures Future By Purchasing Downtown Manhattan Space Over recent months, staff members of the HERE Arts Center in downtown Manhattan have asked audiences for contributions to be used toward the purchase of the lower Sixth Avenue space it has called home for more than a decade.

The organizations has now achieved that goal. HERE announced on May 26 that it had bought the two theaters, café, gallery and administrative spaces that make up the complex—a total of 9,000 square feet over two floors—for $1,723,795. They made a down payment of 28 percent, and have 20 years to pay off the balance, though spokesperson said they hoped to achieve that end in five years. "We're thrilled to secure a permanent alternative arts space when we've seen so much of SoHo taken away from the arts in favor of developing commercial business," said HERE executive director/co-founder, Kristin Marting in a statement.

HERE—the home of such past hit shows as Basil Twist’s Symphonie Fantastique and the current All Wear Bowlers—now finds itself in the enviable position of never having to fear eviction. Few downtown groups own the buildings in which they perform; La MaMa is a prominent exception.

HERE launched an initial two-phase "Secure HERE’s Future" campaign In 2001. In 2003, the company learned of an imminent change the building's ownership, signed a new lease through 2008 and began talks with a developer to purchase the space. After two years of negotiations, HERE finally closed the deal on May 10, 2005.

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