Florida Rep Update!June 05, 2020
When Florida Rep acquired the Arcade Theatre and Bradford Block in downtown Fort Myers, it took control of a significant amount of office space, and while the longer-term plan was to make renovations in the 100-year-old Bradford Building, the COVID-19 closures meant Florida Rep had an opportunity to accelerate its moving plans.
In 2017, Florida Repertory Theatre purchased 4,700 square feet of space in the First Street Center corporate complex on First and Lee Streets, and with the support of Bruce & Janet Bunch, Hugh & Mary Denison, and a whole host of generous supporters, was able to custom-build rehearsal halls and administrative offices. When the transformational gift in 2019 made the Bradford block purchase possible, new doors were opened up for Florida Repertory Theatre. The company’s leadership and board of directors made the decision to move the theatre administrative operations from First Street Center to the Bradford building this summer so that the former administrative offices could be leased to other tenants. The 4,700 square foot space includes 9 separate office bays (with double occupancy), a state of the art kitchen, two conference spaces, and two rooms for mixed-use that were the theatre’s rehearsal spaces.
The move allows Florida Rep to diversify its revenue streams during COVID-19 closures that resulted in the cancellation of much of the theatre’s 2020 programming. This is a positive step for Florida Rep, and while it is happening ahead of schedule, it means the theatre’s education, production, and administrative staffs are once again operating under one roof. The move also allows for further expansion, and the company plans to renovate some of the square footage on the ground level for rehearsal halls, event space, and a possible third mixed-use performance venue. The move positions art and the theatre operations into the heart of downtown. Florida Rep’s performance spaces and its operations headquarters are now located on First Street – in what was originally the Bradford Hotel lobby. Florida Rep is eager to begin this next chapter for the theatre and for the historic building.
For inquiries on the First Street Center office space, please call 239-219-1547.