The Boston Planning and Development Agency approved redevelopment of a stretch of the city’s Huntington Avenue, which includes the Tony-winning Huntington Theatre Company’s performance space.
The future of the company’s home was unclear when Boston University sold the theatre and two adjoining buildings for $25 million in 2015. The following year, the city negotiated a deal between the development company QMG Huntington LLC and the theatre company that would allow them to remain in their longtime home.
QMG’s plans, first revealed in June, include a high-rise apartment complex that would stand directly east of the theatre complex. A significant portion of the first two floors of the new building will be sold to the theatre with a 100-year lease priced at $1. The 14,000 square feet space will house a new entrance and lobby for the theatre, including a café, public gathering amenities, and an intimate event space for up to 150 people.
“This is a major milestone for the Huntington in our quest to add modern audience amenities and a new performance and gathering space to a fully renovated historic theatre,” said Huntington Theatre Company Managing Director Michael Maso. “Through the generosity of QMG Huntington LLC, we will own our own theatre for the first time…the resulting, new state-of-the-art theatre complex will allow us to expand our programming range, our active performance calendar, and our services to audiences and artists alike.”
A representative for Huntington Theatre Company confirmed that while construction is expected to begin in about a year, the company will continue to operate in the theatre space through the 2018–2019 season.
The Huntington Theatre Company’s production of Tartuffe concluded December 10; Melinda Lopez’s solo show Mala will begin January 6 at the company’s other location: the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts. In 2015, the Huntington launched a multi-year Stephen Sondheim initiative, aiming to ultimately present every musical featuring music and lyrics by composer.