V2: Value Village to become temporary Capitol Hill arts space

From L to R: Michael Seiwerath, Matthew Richter, Jill Leininger, and Tonya Lockyer in V2; (Image: Dylan Ward)

From L to R: Michael Seiwerath, Matthew Richter, Jill Leininger, and Tonya Lockyer in V2; (Image: Dylan Ward)

Capitol Hill Housing announced Tuesday that 11th Ave’s Value Village building will be put back into motion as V2, a “temporary arts space” managed by Velocity Dance and home to One Reel. Meanwhile, Hugo House, originally included in the announcement has said it will not play a major role in the project.

The 30,000-square-foot space will be divided into performance areas, rental studios, classrooms, offices, and storage.

The Capitol Hill Arts District project will serve as “a gathering place for rehearsals, events, artist residencies, community forums and the monthly Second Thursday Art Walk.”

Property owner Legacy Commercial “is generously offering the space extremely below market rent for a short term, until the building is redeveloped,” according to the announcement. The City of Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture has put up $20,000 to back the project.

V2 is planned to open in early March. While being planned for a short-term lease, V2 organizers are making plans for utilizing the space beyond fall of this year.

Value Village left the building in November following one final Halloween on Capitol Hill.

The Value Village space had been up for lease as the development company owned by the Value Village founding family moved forward with plans for a seven-story office building along the block. Plans to incorporate the neighboring Stranger’s headquarters in the project were abandoned by the developer due to the building’s landmarks protections which extend to the auto row-era structure’s interior in addition to its exterior. Only the Value Village building’s exterior is protected leaving it open to incorporation in a future development.

Built as an investment development for $70,000 in the midst of World War I, the exterior of the “Chicago School style,” concrete frame building with red brick, parapets, and window spandrels is a protected Seattle landmark. It was once home to the Kelly-Springfield Truck Company and, much later, REI.

Velocity director Tonya Lockyer also serves as co-chair of the Capitol Hill Arts District. CHS spoke to her recently about Velocity and the district.

In January, Hugo House announced it would make a temporary move to First Hill while demolition and construction of its new home inside a six-story, mixed-use development takes place across from Cal Anderson.

The Capitol Hill Arts District launched in 2014 as a program to support and preserve existing art spaces. The neighborhood’s program is managed by Capitol Hill Housing, “with the support of a twenty member Advisory Committee made up of neighborhood arts leaders.” The City has since announced a second arts district in the Central District.

The new V2 space will is “a truly collaborative project,” its backers say:

Seattle Center is donating a portable dance floor to Velocity to cover the uneven surfaces on the ground floor. Velocity will use the space to meet the growing space needs of its Creative Residencies, producing programs, and international summer festival. One Reel will relocate its offices to the top floor.

For information about renting the space contact Velocity at cait@velocitydancecenter.org. Interested in volunteering? Sign up HERE.

The complete announcement of the new V2 project is below:

V2 art space rises in Capitol Hill’s old Value Village 

Velocity Dance Center and Capitol Hill Arts District to activate space.

(Seattle, WA) — In one of the fastest moving markets in the nation, Seattle arts groups are digging in for space activation. In the original home of the nation’s largest retail coop, and more recently a well-loved neighborhood Value Village, V2 is set to open. Occupying a classic Pike-Pine auto row building, V2 will temporarily bring 30,000 new square feet of arts space to Seattle’s Capitol Hill.

An initiative of the Capitol Hill Arts District, managed by Velocity, V2 will house programs for a number of resident arts organizations, as well as special events in this stunning, light-filled space. Velocity secured the lease with property owner Legacy Commercial, will provide overall management for the space, and oversee bookings as part of its ongoing commitment to community activation on the Hill.

The City of Seattle’s Office of Arts and Culture is investing $20,000 to help make V2 possible. “Seattle’s first Arts & Cultural District, the Capitol Hill neighborhood, already plays a special role in the cultural life of the city,” stated Mayor Ed Murray. “Through a strong neighborhood partnership, city funds will support V2 as a new dedicated space for artistic expression. We look forward to working with the community to develop additional arts and cultural spaces throughout the neighborhood.”

A truly collaborative project, V2 will house the theater lights and seating for neighboring Hugo House while their new home is built, with furniture donated by PEMCO insurance. Seattle Center is donating a portable dance floor to Velocity to cover the uneven surfaces on the ground floor. Velocity will use the space to meet the growing space needs of its Creative Residencies, producing programs, and international summer festival. One Reel will relocate its offices to the top floor and Hugo House will begin programming readings and lectures in the space this fall.

V2 will provide low-cost rental space in the center of the Capitol Hill Arts District and a gathering place for rehearsals, events, artist residencies, community forums and the monthly Second Thursday Art Walk.

“The demand for affordable arts space has been unrelenting,” stated Tonya Lockyer, Velocity’s Artistic Director. “V2 will allow us a second space to program, and to help more artists than ever.   Amazingly, the top-level hardwood floors are in near perfect condition. To have a beautiful floor in a pillar-free space that big, is heaven for dancers.  It’s like a musician entering a thrift shop and finding a Stradivarius.”

“A key goal of the Capitol Hill Arts District has been to create and preserve arts space in Pike-Pine,” stated Michael Seiwerath, Arts District co-chair. “While this is only a temporary solution, V2 will provide space to scores of artists. This collaboration is a model for how to take on large projects at a time when Seattle can seem unaffordable to artists.”

Property owner Legacy Commercial is generously offering the space extremely below market rent for a short term, until the building is redeveloped.

V2 is tentatively scheduled to open in early March 2016.  For information about renting the space contact Velocity at cait@velocitydancecenter.org. Interested in volunteering? Sign up HERE.

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