Brewery Arts Center moves forward with expansion
November 19, 2008
The Brewery Arts Center is moving forward with plans for a $3.5 million downtown expansion, after getting conditional approval from the Carson City Planning Commission on Wednesday to take over a street that divides the center’s property.
Plans include an improved arts facility and a 400-seat amphitheater once the center takes over the 170-foot long piece of South Minnesota Street between Second and King streets dividing the center’s performance hall and the brewery section.
Improvements can begin once city supervisors approve the idea and the center gets a special permit for its plans within a year.
Representatives for the center ” which hosts art classes and concerts and houses the city’s public access television studios ” have said they needed to know they could take over the street before they could start fundraising for the project.
The planning commission delayed voting on the street closure at its meeting last month so the center and city staff could work out a deal that made it clear that the center couldn’t take over the street until it got a special permit that calls for detailed expansion plans.
City Engineer Jeff Sharp had said the city should have a good reason for giving away an operating street that has been owned by the city since at least 1875 and has about 340 cars on it a day, but he said at the meeting Wednesday the city would know what it’s getting into if the center has to present plans.
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The center started in 1975 and leases the former brewery building from the city, which houses a cafe and and space used for art classes. The center owns the performance hall part of the building.
Joan Wright, who has worked on the expansion for the arts center, said the agreement protects both the center and the city and will allow the center to hopefully finish the first phase of the expansion including utility work and park improvements like a bike path within a year.
She said she isn’t sure when the full expansion will be done, but fundraising will be easier when the first phase is finished.
But John Copoulos, project architect, said getting this far has been harder than necessary, calling it was easier to get approval for a temporary stage for summer concerts at the center than taking over the section of road.
– Contact reporter Dave Frank at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.