Joffrey Changes Plans for New Headquarters

Classic Arts News   Joffrey Changes Plans for New Headquarters
 
The Joffrey Ballet has abandoned plans to move its headquarters to a new building in favor of taking space in a condominium tower, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Should this move happen, the company's administrative offices and rehearsal studios would occupy 40,000 square feet of space in a proposed 32-story building on North State Street. The Joffrey would buy a condominium interest in the building.

No price for that interest was available.

According to Jon Teeuwissen, the company's executive director, the Joffrey is looking at two different sites, but would not comment further. Other sources identified the second site as another proposed condominium tower on South State Street.

The original plan was to renovate a 48,000-foot structure on Lake Street, but when it became apparent that the renovation would not provide enough column-free rehearsal space, the company began to talk about putting a new building on the site. Projected construction costs soared from $24 million to $40 million.

The sale of the Lake Street property could bring in from $6.1 million to $11.8 million, which would go a long way toward paying down the company's debts from 2000 and 2001, as well as helping to finance the purchase of the condominium space.

Financing the purchase is still an issue for the company, which posted a deficit of $650,000 in its last fiscal year. This, the company's first deficit in two years, was the result of expanding its fall and spring performance seasons from one week to two. According to Teeuwissen, this expansion, although expensive, was aimed at growing the company's audience and attracting donors. "We look at that year as a year of investment," he said.

The Joffrey, one of the country's pre-eminent dance companies, currently occupies 22,000 square feet in two different locations, and performs at the Auditorium Theater.


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