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Theatre Building Chicago to Sell Facility
Mar 18, 2010

Theatre Building ChicagoTheatre Building Chicago announced today an agreement to sell its theatre facility to an LLC, providing both continued availability of rental services for Chicago theatre companies and expanded opportunity for area artists and patrons.

TBC will sell its building in Lakeview, containing three 148-seat theaters, to 1225 W. Belmont LLC. Lukaba Productions has committed to enter into a long term lease with the LLC. TBC noted that operations, including the space services and facilities rental programs will continue on a business-as-usual basis.

"All current rental contracts will be honored and TBC staff is actively recruiting new renters for the 2010-11 season," said Arthur Don, vice president of TBC's board of directors. "While the ownership of the physical property will change, we anticipate no change in commitment to the theatre community we have served for many years."

TBC plans to establish an endowment fund and invest a portion of the proceeds to expand the Stages Theatre Festival, a longstanding priority of the organization While funding limitations had restricted Stages to a series of staged readings each summer, TBC plans to deliver a more extensive and fully developed series of performances in the new Stages Festival scheduled for spring 2011.

Under the aegis of TBC's executive director, Sean Cercone, TBC will seek to leverage Stages to increase opportunities for new musical development in Chicago and have a greater impact on the American musical theatre landscape.

"We have been presented with a unique opportunity: the ability and resources to provide new outlets for the musical theatre artists of this city while contributing to the small but mighty network of organizations that are shaping the future of our art form," Cercone said. "The talent pool of artists here in Chicago is largely untapped for this type of work, and we have set our goals as nothing less than a revitalization and explosion of new musical theatre-and to share this exciting process with our patrons."

Full details of the new Stages program will be announced later this spring. TBC also plans to expand its children's theater program in cooperation with area schools and its ongoing writers' workshops. Following the sale, TBC will continue to rent space for its activities at the 1225 W. Belmont facility.

Don said the decision to sell the building resulted from an analysis of resources and funding to achieve the TBC mission. The TBC board determined that the sale would offer the greatest opportunity to focus the company's energy and resources on the growth of musical theater.

"With this sale, we will emerge with a substantial pool of funds and a strong vision to build musical theater in Chicago," said Don. "We all look forward to developing opportunities for artists, wonderful experiences for theatergoers and the reputation of Chicago as the birthplace of great new musicals."

All parties to the transaction have expressed a strong commitment to provide support to many of Chicago's emerging theatre companies. Details of the transaction, expected to close in May, were not announced. The transaction is subject to normal due diligence review.

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