Theater Group Renews 32K SF at 520 Eighth Avenue

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The show must — and will — go on at 520 Eighth Avenue for Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York

More commonly known as ART/New York, the 400-member collective of theater companies signed a 20-year renewal for its 32,000-square-foot space on the entire third floor of the Garment District building, which will continue to be used as rehearsal studios and offices, according to landlord GFP Real Estate.

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“The arts and entertainment sector faced innumerable challenges due to the pandemic. We are thrilled that ART/New York was able to remain in place while continuing to support its member theaters,” Jeffrey Gural, chairman of GFP, said in a statement. “As the entertainment industry reawakens, ART/New York will be able to continue to serve its clients at 520 Eighth Avenue for many years to come.” 

GFP’s Matthew Mandell represented both the landlord and the tenant in the deal. Asking rents were in the low $40s per square foot range.

“GFP has been a true partner to ART/New York, and we are grateful for their support of our mission – and of the NYC theater community more broadly as our industry continues to rebound and reform from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Risa Shoup, co-director forART/New York, said in a statement. “A 20-year lease provides ART/New York and our member theater companies with much-needed stability in an otherwise challenging time. We are committed to responding to the needs of theater artists with high quality, subsidized office and rehearsal space at 520 8th Avenue.”

The building between West 36th and 37th avenues is teeming with dramaturgical life, also being tenanted by Ripley-Grier Studios, which provides rentable rehearsal spaces on the 10th, 16th and 17th floors. Ripley-Grier recently renewed its lease for 62,257 square feet for an additional 15 years and has been at 520 Eighth Avenue since 1999.

Performing arts organization The Barrow Group also expanded its 10,000-square-foot space to 13,155 square feet on the ninth floor with a 15-year lease renewal, Commercial Observer reported in February. Barrow took up space vacated by improv comedy troupe The Upright Citizens Brigade after the pandemic shuttered its operations.

Mark Hallum can be reached at mhallum@commercialobserver.com.