Midvalley performance center the Temporary forced to pursue long-term vision sooner | PostIndependent.com

Midvalley performance center the Temporary forced to pursue long-term vision sooner

Scott Condon
The Aspen Times

The midvalley entertainment venue called the Temporary is looking to transition into a long-term space called the Permanent quicker than planned.

The Temporary will close its door at Willits Town Center in early May. It will continue to host some events in different places while focusing on getting the Permanent open as soon as possible on vacant land it leases elsewhere in Willits, according to Ryan Honey, executive director of The Arts Campus at Willits, a nonprofit organization that operates The Temporary and is pursuing The Permanent.

TACAW signed a two-year lease with Mariner Real Estate Management for a 3,200-square-foot space for the Temporary in August 2017. Mariner now does business as Platform Ventures. The lease allowed either party to exit early in the second year with a 90-day notice.

"The timing was driven by Mariner," Honey said. "They gave a notice to do that."

Honey said the Temporary was given a "sweetheart deal" that essentially provided incubator space for the performing arts center. TACAW wanted to extend the lease to keep presenting programming until it opened The Permanent, he said. Now, it has an "opportunity" to pursue its permanent quarters sooner, Honey said diplomatically.

"It just means we're way focused on the Permanent," he said.

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Tim Belinski, who is helping Platform Ventures lease vacant space in Willits Town Center, said the company appreciated the activity that the Temporary brought to the area. It wasn't possible to let the lease run its course or extend it because there was an opportunity to rent it to a new entity sooner, he said. Belinski declined to disclose the new tenant.

TACAW announced Tuesday it is cranking up its capital campaign to fulfill its long-term vision for the Permanent.

"To transition to the Permanent as quickly as possible, TACAW is pursuing a strategy of phasing construction that will allow for an expedited timeline," TACAW said in a statement. "To finance the phased construction, TACAW is launching a capital campaign with $1 million already committed to the effort."

Honey said in an interview that the first phase would include a performance space comparable to what exists at the Temporary. There will be additional space for offices, rehearsal, a green room, lobby and bathrooms. TACAW's board of directors is working on details regarding the square footage and cost.

The advantage is land costs are out of the equation. Basalt town government granted a 99-year lease to TACAW for vacant land the town owns along Willits Lane.

Honey said the hope is the fundraising goes well enough to break ground in 2019. Construction of the first phase is estimated to take one year.

"If we really boogie — which we have every intention to do — we could open sometime in 2020," Honey said.

The staff and board would mount the fundraising effort rather than hire an outside firm. They will tout what the Temporary has accomplished since opening in August 2017. It has hosted 225 diverse cultural acts in music, independent cinema, comedy, theater, lectures, kids performing arts, readings and poetry. Nearly 25,000 patrons have attended the various events.

"At the Temporary, TACAW has proven a need for their services and demonstrated their capacity to meet that need," TACAW's prepared statement said. It later added, "It is time to build the Permanent."

Meanwhile, it is business-as-usual for the Temporary through April, and TACAW will continue to present "pop-up programming" at private residences and other midvalley locations until the Permanent opens. Honey said the organization considered shopping for a new space to locate the Temporary but figured the staff time would better be spent focusing on fundraising for the Permanent.

For more information on the long-term vision or to make a donation, visit http://www.tacaw.org/supportus.

scondon@aspentimes.com