A 10,000-square-foot red-brick structure at the corner of Race Street and North Columbus Boulevard is being transformed into the new home of Philadelphia Live Arts Festival and Philly Fringe, an annual festival that supports local, national and international artists of all disciplines and levels of achievement.
The former riverfront pumping station was acquired by the organization for $750,000, but the redevelopment effort is estimated to go as high as $5.2 million. President and Producing Director Nick Stuccio told PlanPhilly.Com that the organization has already gathered around 90 percent of that amount, and the remaining $1.5 million is underway.
The first phase of construction calls for a new theater with 240 seats, a studio, and administrative offices projected for completion by fall, just in time for this year’s Fringe Festival (September 6-21). By reaching this milestone, the organization hopes to use the structure’s wide-open spaces for regular art performances. According to Nick Stuccio, the building was in excellent shape and it was already zoned appropriately—this means that the organization can seek a liquor license, which would allow people to grab a drink and spend some time talking about the performances they have, or will, experience.
Phase two, which is expected to be completed by late spring 2014, will bring an indoor restaurant and bar and an outdoor plaza, as well as further upgrades for the 110-year-old building.