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Theatrical Organization The Barrow Group Expands Near Penn Station

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Nonprofit theater company The Barrow Group will stretch its Eighth Avenue studio space to more than 19,000 square feet. 

The organization signed a 12-year lease for an extra 6,000 square feet for 12 years on the ninth floor of 520 Eighth Avenue, according to tenant broker Open Impact Real Estate.

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Neither Open nor the landlord, GFP Real Estate, disclosed the asking rent in the deal. Average asking rent in Penn Plaza is around $92 per square foot, according to Transwestern’s most recent market report. 

Barrow moved to 520 Eighth in 2021, signing a 15-year lease for 13,155 square feet. It moved from a smaller, 10,000-square-foot space at 312 West 31st Street.

The expansion brings Barrow’s footprint in the building to 19,155 square feet. Barrow’s deal includes an option to purchase its space if GFP decides to convert the entire building to a leasehold condo, according to Open. 

Robert Serrell, executive director of The Barrow Group, said the theater company had recently added a new 60-seat studio theater to its facility, “which will provide the thousands of artists and students in our community, hailing from all backgrounds, a supportive, nurturing place to develop their work.” The space includes multiple small practice rooms for acting classes and open lounges with seating. Barrow produces and stages theatrical performances in its theater, offers acting classes for kids and adults, and allows studio and theater rentals. 

Stephen Powers, Lindsay Ornstein and Jake Cinti of Open represented Barrow, while Matthew Mandell handled the transaction for GFP in-house. GFP didn’t immediately return a request for a comment via a spokesperson. 

“This expansion provides The Barrow Group with an opportunity to build on their resilience and progress made during the pandemic,” Powers said in a statement. “The additional space supports an expanded range of program offerings. By securing this leasehold condo structure option, the Barrow is able to benefit from its tax exemption and secure a long-term home as other nonprofit tenants in the building implement the advantageous structure.”

The 26-story, 860,000-square-foot tower between West 36th and West 37th streets is home to several other arts organizations, including dance studio operator Ripley Grier, nonprofit Theater Development Fund, A.R.T./New York (short for Alliance of Resident Theatres), off-Broadway theater company Primary Stages, and nonprofit Theater Communications Group.

Rebecca Baird-Remba can be reached at rbairdremba@commercialobserver.com.