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WASHINGTON, DC-The District’s Shakespeare Theatre has officially announced plans for the $77-million expansion of the group’s performance venue, which will result in the new Harman Center for the Arts. The addition of the new 800-seat facility, which will sit at a separate but nearby site, will complement the Shakespeare Theatre’s existing digs, the 451-seat Lansburgh Theatre. CarrAmerica Urban Development is onboard as the developer for the project, while Clark Construction is handling construction management.

The Sidney Harman portion of the Shakespeare Theatre will be located at 620 F St., just a stone’s throw from the existing Lansburgh segment at 450 7th St. It will be part of an 11-story, mixed-use structure that will house the new performance facility on the bottom half of the building, and 110,000 sf of class A office space on the top half. The Harman Center’s occupancy of the structure breaks down to include a 7,500-sf space to accommodate the theater, a 3,300-sf lobby, and a 1,200-sf space for administrative offices. The below-grade portion of the building will include 2,000 sf for dressing rooms, a 2,000-sf rehearsal facility, and 2,300 sf for storage, a green room and a kitchen.

Funding for the theater project comes from both public and private coffers. A gift of $15 million from the Harmon Family Foundation–the arts center’s namesake, and the family of Shakespeare Theatre trustee Dr. Sidney Harmon–will go toward making the theater a reality, as will a $20 million grant from the District of Columbia.

“Our Downtown should be a vibrant, 18-hour neighborhood, with housing, retail, arts and entertainment at its core,” says Mayor Anthony A. Williams. “The new Harman Center gets us one step closer to that goal. By supporting this project, we’re drawing people from across the city and the Mall into our Downtown and creating more jobs and new revenue for our city.”

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