Bay Street Theater confirmed on Friday that the theater will build a new, permanent home on a newly acquired property on Long Island Avenue in Sag Harbor Village, where the 7-Eleven and several other stores are currently located inside a strip mall next to the bridge from North Haven.
The purchase of 22 Long Island Avenue, with a 15,000-square-foot, mixed-use building, closed officially on Friday and sold for close to its $13.9 million asking price. Behind The Hedges reported the property was in contract earlier this month. Douglas Elliman’s Enzo Morabito, who, with Adam Rothman, represented the property since it went on the market in July.
Bay Street Theater & Sag Harbor Center will be the nonprofit professional theater’s first purpose-built home. Multiple theaters are planned, including a main stage, and it will feature dedicated space for Bay Street’s year-round educational programs for children and adults. The facility will also include a center for new work development, a shop and scenery storage, special events, and professional development initiatives, as well as outdoor performance and public spaces. Now in its 30th year, Bay Street also serves thousands of students each year and partners with more than 30 local nonprofits annually.
The Friends of Bay Street and Sag Harbor Redevelopment, a separate nonprofit organization, has been created to oversee the site’s development, which included the property purchase. The group will also oversee financing, fundraising and design. Friends of Bay Street will work with the nonprofit theater and its Board of Trustees on the new building’s development.
Groundbreaking is not expected until mid-2021 and completion is slated for 2023.
“The creation of a permanent home for Bay Street has long been a goal for all of us at the organization, and I’m thrilled that, along with the Friends of Bay Street, we are able to build upon the work of our visionary founders Sybil Christopher, Emma Walton Hamilton and Stephen Hamilton, to make that dream a reality,” said Tracy Mitchell, Bay Street’s executive director. “I’m incredibly grateful to Bay Street Theater’s Chairman, Steven Todrys and the entire Board of Trustees for their support and leadership at this incredible juncture as we enhance the artistic contributions we make to the field and the home we provide to our wonderful community.”
The architect for the project will be announced in the coming months, and at that time more details about the facilities and its special features will be released.
“Today is a foundational next step in the history and ongoing trajectory of Bay Street Theater as well as for the Sag Harbor community. The location of the new complex will offer residents and visitors access to the revitalized waterfront and even more space for productions and community offerings, expanding the Theater as a hub for engagement and creativity,” said Adam Potter, Founder and Chairman of Friends of Bay Street. “Not only is the project an investment in the future of both Sag Harbor and non-profit theater, it allows Bay Street Theater to expand its role as a major cultural, civic, and economic resource in the region.”
Bay Street’s new home is located next to the John Steinbeck Waterfront Park, “transforming what is currently a commercial space into a community resource,” the theater said.
As for the businesses such as the 7-Eleven and Sing City, and Water Street Wines & Spirits, they will have to relocate, but leadership with the Friends of Bay Street said they are working with the business owners to help them find new space.