Kingfield arts center expansion approved

Center for Performing Arts will more than double in size

Center for Performing Arts at 38th & Pleasant
The Planning Commission has approved a five-story, 23,000-square-foot expansion to the Center for Performing Arts at 38th & Pleasant. Submitted image

The owner of a Kingfield arts center has the go-ahead to build a five-story, steel-and-glass addition to her 96-year-old building.

Jackie Hayes, owner of the Center for Performing Arts at 38th & Pleasant, won the approval of the Planning Commission on Sept. 23.

The new 23,129-square-foot structure will feature a 100-seat performance space on the ground floor, with tenant and studio spaces spread across the upper levels.

The rusted steel cladding covering most of the addition’s exterior is designed to complement the brick-and-limestone surface of the original structure directly to its east. The two buildings will be connected by glass walkways on the second and third floors.

The expansion comes as Hayes’ 24-year-old performing arts center is reaching capacity and several other local performance spaces and arts organizations — including Soap Factory, Intermedia Arts, Patrick’s Cabaret and the Bedlam Theater — have closed in recent years.

Planning Commission president Sam Rockwell said the project typifies the kind of development he’d like to see in Minneapolis.

Hayes bought the existing building, a former Roman Catholic convent, in 1995. The arts complex she created in the space contains rehearsal and teaching studios, small offices and studio rooms and a top-floor Airbnb. The new addition will include elevators, at least 40 bike-parking spots and a real-time transit screen in a vestibule at the new entrance.

The site’s two-car garage and six surface parking spaces will be replaced by a single parking space long enough to fit two small cars, city staff said. Hayes is working with adjacent organizations, such as Lake Country School, to use their parking during off hours.

“We are sensitive to [parking] and feel that we’ve done a project that really addresses our expansion and what it might do to the intersection,” Hayes told the Planning Commission.

Several residents were skeptical that the project included enough parking. That included Jeanne Ritterson, who predicted that parking in the area would be inadequate.

“To suggest that bicycles and transit can mitigate the impact of [the Center for Performing Arts] expansion would require evidence that the people who ride now can commute by bike and transit year-round,” Ritterson said.

Planning commissioner Ryan Kronzer said he thinks Hayes has done a good job arranging for off-street parking for when the center will be in use.