And it’s coming just when the North Texas real estate market is worse than it’s ever been for arts groups desperate for office space, a performance venue, anything.
The project is being developed and managed by the Sammons Center for the Arts on Harry Hines Boulevard. The new West Dallas facility will be on N. Stemmons Freeway on the opposite side from the UT Southwestern Medical Center. There’s a vacant, city-owned lot there. The new center will be much like the Sammons itself, which currently is home to 14 small arts groups. The facility will feature not only black box theaters but offices, rehearsal space and meeting rooms.
For years, Dallas-area art groups have been shoved aside by runaway apartment blocks and the city’s red-hot property values. If there’s been something of a boom around here when it comes to small-scale theater companies, galleries and performance venues, it’s been mostly in the suburbs — for the same reason homeowners flock there: There are actually somewhat affordable places to be found, no matter the lengthy commute.
The full release:
Dallas City Council Approves Sammons Center’s Plan for New Arts Campus in West Dallas
First Phase of Construction Expected to Begin in 2023
DALLAS/May 27, 2021 — Construction of a new performing arts campus in West Dallas moved another step closer to reality yesterday when Dallas City Council approved a long-term contract with the nonprofit Sammons Center for the Arts to develop, operate and manage the facility. The council unanimously supported the Sammons Center’s plan to transform a vacant 3.7-acre City-owned tract at 3111 North Stemmons Freeway into black box theaters, space for offices, exhibits, rehearsals and conferences, and housing for artists. Construction of the first of three phases is expected to begin in the second half of 2023.
The new arts campus is the second public-private partnership between the City and the Sammons Center. The Sammons Center opened in March 1988 after extensive rehabilitation of the historic yet long-vacant Turtle Creek Pump Station. Today, it is home to 14 small performing arts groups and serves another 90 arts and culture organizations with affordable space and administrative, education and technical services. It is a nationally recognized model of a successful arts incubator.
“This second facility truly demonstrates our mission to “Grow the Arts in Dallas,” said Joanna St. Angelo, executive director of the Sammons Center. “This new opportunity meets a critical need for more space for local artists and arts groups and provides a vital asset to the under-served citizens of West Dallas. We are grateful for the council’s endorsement and are excited to move forward with the project.”