As Portland continues through a cycle of redevelopment fed by an influx of new residents, a good economy and a hot real estate market, Portland art organizations have found their grasp on studios in the central core to be looser than maybe they hoped. Those that own property, such as Oregon Ballet Theatre, have been able to cash in, but renters have faced the necessity and expense of finding new homes. Polaris Dance Theatre, for example, has just announced that it has found new digs, and Conduit, evicted suddenly in March, is in the process of locating space, too.
We don’t have much we can add to Oregon Ballet Theatre’s announcement that it was intending to close the sale of its current building in Southeast Portland and move to a new South Waterfront location by the end of the year. The initial press release was pretty vague, and though we’ve heard a few additional things, nothing approaching “official” or “confirmed.”
The sale will allow the city’s biggest dance company to pay off its accumulated debts and set up “a protected reserve fund, not utilized for day to day operations of OBT, but for the future capital needs of the organization,” as the press release put it. The company didn’t announce how much that fund would amount to, though we’ve heard some numbers batted about in the neighborhood of $4 million. Feel free to disregard that number completely, because it was speculative. When and if OBT tells us how much exactly—and presumably the company won’t know until the sale closes—we’ll let you know.