A peek at the plan for the new Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany

The Rep Pearl and Livingston rendering

A rendering filed with the city as part of the exterior signage plan.

Here's a peek at Capital Repertory Theatre's planned renovation of an old warehouse space at North Pearl Street and Livingston Ave into a new theater space. The project is scheduled to make its first appearance before the Albany Planning Board this Thursday evening.

The project description from one of the development docs filed with the city:

The project includes the renovation of the existing 1800's vintage Nabisco building for use as a live theatre venue, 310 +/- seat auditorium with associated front and back of house facilities including a smaller 100 person performance and rehearsal space, box office, cafe/bar, gallery space, props and costume work area, dressing rooms, and administrative offices. The theatre will operate throughout the year, primarily matinee and evening showings arranged around performances. The offices, props and costume work area and rehearsal space will be used during normal business hours throughout the year.

The architecture firm working on the project is CSArch.

The proposed exterior plan includes four LED signs: three signs 4.5 feet by 40 feet, one each along the North Pearl side, Livingston side, and mounted on the roof; and a vertically-oriented sign on the corner that would be 18 feet tall and 4 feet wide. "The displays will be installed as permanent installations, illumination and scrolling LED graphics will be regulated by the theater and primarily limited to hours of operation."

The warehouse site doesn't have any parking and the docs also provide a peek at The Rep's plans for that.

Gomez building Capital Rep production 215 N Pearl St

According to a transportation demand management plan filed with the city:

+ The Rep will contract with the Albany Parking Authority to offer free parking for patrons at the Quackenbush Garage, a half mile away on Broadway. (Estimated cost $12,480 per year.) And CDTA will be providing shuttle service to transport patrons between the Quackenbush Garage and the new theater space. (Cost: $35,000 per year.)

+ The theater org is negotiating with an adjacent property owner for a 20-space lot to provide parking for patrons with special needs. And it says in the plan that it's also negotiating with a property owner to develop an 80-space lot on the northeast corner of North Pearl Street and Colonie Street.

+ The plan says the Albany Housing Authority will be providing 15 spaces daily for Rep staff at the Ida Yarbrough Homes across Pearl.

+ And it estimates there are 116 on-street spaces within a block of the site.

Capital Rep building 2018-September

What about the current Cap Rep building?

The building that currently houses The Rep -- 111 North Pearl Street, the one with the parking garage above it -- is part of the group of downtown buildings that just sold as part of a major residential conversion plan. (The "Kenmore portfolio.") The new owner -- Redburn Partners -- said last week it will be honoring The Rep's current lease arrangement and will work the theater org as it prepares for the move north up Pearl Street.

Comments

given its centrality and existing parking the current rep building seems the most logical choice for the downtown supermarket that redburn has mentioned.

Cap rep is gambling here. The space will be a dramatic improvement for the productions, but will the patrons' overall theater going experience suffer? As a subscriber, I am seriously concerned about the parking issues and lack of restaurants. The show may be better, but if the hassle associated with a night out increases, I may decide this isn't worth the energy.

Thanks for continuing to update on this. I am eager to see how Cap rep handles the transition.

How about parking at the US Post Office Carrier Annex (747 Broadway). It would be ideal, VERY close by and empty lot after 5 pm. If needed the planned shuttle could stop by and give those in need the 1 block ride to Cap Rep.

FWIW, to follow up on the 1st comment: I'm pretty sure CapRep's current location is called the Market Theatre because it occupies a former supermarket location.

I can not cross the street, and worry about my safety.
Why would Cap Rep buy a building that does not have a parking lot near by? How safe is this neighborhood?

I'm from Europe and after a few years living in the Capital Region, I keep wondering why people in the U.S. are usually so resistant to walk. We need walkable, sustainable cities. Now. Gas is not going to last forever and having a parking lot in every block makes everything further and less walkable. Move your asses!

Boy, that rendering really shows the huge changes to the facade - two new signs! Glass windows!! And a string of Christmas lights!!! What a standout building.

This location is only a couple blocks away from its current spot. Remember, walking is good for your wallet, your health, your city, and your environment!

MoMo - it is ironic that we pay thousands of dollars to vacation in beautiful, walkable cities in Europe only to protest and complain about the changes that would create those same beautiful spaces here!

Seems like they have *plenty* of options for parking. Free parking with a free shuttle... adjacent accessible parking... not to mention street parking... and I bet CDTA could be convinced to expand the Capital City Trolley service the two extra blocks so you'll be able to get to the theater from pretty much anywhere downtown (again for free).

But you know- complainers gon' complain.

I hate the thinking that just because the surrounding 4 blocks aren't parking lots, a business/idea will fail. The new location is a mere blocks from the old one, and still very walkable to restaurants and bars. Plus, there is the potential that due to increased foot traffic around the new location, more places to eat/drink/shop will pop up to meet the demand. There are already several development projects for new apartments on the block just south of the new theater that will add to the residential population density.

This could help expand the walkable core of downtown Albany beyond the few blocks centered around S. Pearl, which is already seeing a push with the changing dynamic of the area between downtown and the warehouse district (Albany Distilling opening their location on Livingston just around the corner is a good example). Plus it will open up the old theater location to hopefully become something else that serves the neighborhood (like a grocery store).

Regarding the parking, I like the idea of using the Post Office Carrier Annex lot. I used to work up the street from the new theater at Adirondack Environmental (which oddly enough, used to be a grocery store in the 80s/90s), and was thinking along the same lines - strike a deal with a nearby business to use their lots. The lots are empty after 6, already exist, and the business gets a kickback for their use - seems like a win/win. Plus you wouldn't have to pave over the absorbent section of greenery on the corner of Pearl and Colonie.

But what do I know? My only city planning experience comes from playing Sim City as a kid. But it would be nice to see some different thinking when it comes to the idea of "mandatory parking requirements."

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