Sewall Development Corporation is set to begin in March the $3.5 million transformation of a former Remington tire shop into a mixed use building housing a theater, restaurant and nonprofit offices.
Evan Morville, a principal with Seawall, said the construction on the building— formerly home to James and Lynn’s Tire Service—will be complete enough in November for the nonprofit Young Audiences of Maryland to move in to their new offices.
"The thing I think we’ve really focused on is development for need—not just to develop to develop," Morville said.
The company has already redeveloped the former H.F. Miller Tin Box and Can Manufacturing building into the mixed-use Miller’s Court that is located across the street from their newest project. Seawall has also started the process of rehabbing homes in Remington in hopes of selling them to city schoolteachers when there are ready to move out of the Miller’s Court apartments.
Proof of the impact of that investment came when Zillow listed Remington as one of the 10 hottest neighborhoods in the city because housing values are predicted to appreciate by 3.3 percent during the next year.
The planned redevelopment involves dividing the 15,000 square foot building into three parts. The theater will take up about 6,000 square feet, the restaurant will take up about 5,500 feet and nonprofit office space will take
Single Carrot Theatre, which is currently housed in the building formerly used by Everyman Theatre in Station North, hopes to be open in Remington by January 2014.
Elliott Rauh, managing director at Single Carrot Theatre, said the troop was outgrowing its previous space at Load of Fun on North Avenue, and needed to increase revenue with a larger audience capacity because they didn’t want to raise ticket prices.
"We did not feel comfortable saying 'hey, lets double the price of tickets,'" Rauh said.
When Seawall approached Single Carrot about the space, Rauh said it was exactly what they were looking for because it had high ceilings and no pillars to obstruct views. The space will also allow them to configure the theater to best fit a production whether it’s through standard seating or theater-in-the-round.
"It’s more about practical space," Rauh said.
Young Audiences of Maryland have been a tenant at Miller's Court for more than four years, and has started to outgrow its current space so they will move across the street to the new offices.
Executive Director Stacie Sanders Evans said the nonprofit, which connects children with the arts through performances at schools, has had a great experience at its current office space, and has enjoyed working around like minded groups—a benefit they didn’t have in their previous offices in Mount Vernon.
"Before [moving to Miller’s Court], we were kind of isolated in a little row home and didn’t have the chance to make informal connections at the elevator, you know, or at the vending machine," Sanders said.
But the group, which was founded in Baltimore in 1950 and is part of the largest arts and education network in the nation, has continued to grow and is excited about having extra space next to Single Carrot, which already works with the Young Audiences of Maryland.
"It was really wonderful to be able to be in the same place as someone we were working with," Evans said.
Morville said the Seawall is close to finalizing an agreement with a restaurant to open in the new development, and that the company expects to make that announcement in the next few weeks.