Redhouse Arts Center plans move into new home in December

Project is on the cusp of major construction of old Sibley's building

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) - The Redhouse Arts Center's new home in Downtown Syracuse should be ready for move-in around the end of this year.

The theater is expecting to have its first show, with a soft opening, in the former Sibley's building on South Salina Street in March of 2018.

After many, many months of behinds the scenes work like design, engineering, architecture and securing financing visible work is now happening.

Crews are working on what will be the Center's new main performance theater.  It will be 243 percent bigger than the one current theater space they have on South West Street on the edge of Armory Square.

The new main theater could as many as 400 people.  A second smaller theater will hold between 100-125 people, still bigger than the one current venue they use now.

It will take about two weeks to break through a section of the parking garage to raise the main theater’s main roof level to 25 feet.

Once it’s done major construction with several contractors will happen all at once with a goal of finishing for move in this December.

Redhouse Executive Director Samara Hannah says, “We are trying to come up with a transition plan and get some timetables in place but really our focus is on being able to get to the new space and put ourselves in a position where we've got a facility that supports what the community is interested in from Redhouse."

There have been changes to the Redhouse plan which will occupy 30,000 square feet of the old Sibley’s warehouse.

The two movie theaters are being dropped from the project for now, so Redhouse can concentrate on its core mission of performance art and education.

Another change involves the overall City Center project, which Redhouse is 10 percent owner by putting $2 million towards the purchase of the building.

Aspen Dental will no longer relocate 600 of its employees to the other half of the building.

Hannah says, "Having them as neighbors would have been a great thing but I know that there is other interested parties.  We've raised 85 percent of our $10 million goal.  We've got the money in place to sustain our ownership of the project but most importantly to do our build out."

The Redhouse has raised 85 percent of its $10 million goal; the remaining $1.5 million will be needed for soft costs like a ticketing system to finish out the space.

Eventually the Redhouse will have an entrance through a courtyard off West Jefferson Street but immediately when it opens people will go in and out on the South Salina Street side.

The project will maintain about 800 parking spaces in the garage that already exists in this building.

Hannah says, "City Center is designed to draw a lot of audience and people into kind of a culminating place in Downtown Syracuse that focuses on the arts in Downtown Syracuse."


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