HomeOperaCulturalDC disputes how WIT misplaced its lease at Supply Theatre

CulturalDC disputes how WIT misplaced its lease at Supply Theatre


In emails despatched to DCMTA this week, CulturalDC, the humanities nonprofit that owns the Supply Theatre, disputed Washington Improv Theaters assertion that CulturalDC shocked WIT, its tenant of 20 years, by all of a sudden asserting that it will not renew WIT’s lease on the Supply Theatre.

On Monday — as reported by DCMTA — WIT Government Director Mark Chalfant made public that CulturalDC wouldn’t be renewing WIT’s lease at Supply when it expires on August 31. Chalfant shared the information on WIT’s web site, in an electronic mail to WIT supporters, and in a information launch obtained by DC Metro Theater Arts. On WIT’s web site, Chalfant states: “Final week I used to be knowledgeable that WIT’s lease at Supply wouldn’t be renewed and that August can be our final month within the house. This was solely surprising.” 

DCMTA graphic.

CulturalDC’s Government Director Kristi Maiselman calls this assertion an “aggressive mischaracterization.” When requested by DCMTA when WIT was notified that their lease wouldn’t be renewed, Maiselman replied that “they’ve recognized about it for years.” In an electronic mail despatched to DCMTA on Monday, Maiselman says, “WIT had the choice to resume and didn’t train the extension possibility per the phrases of their lease 9 months in the past.” 

Maiselman is referring to the extension clause of the lease between WIT and CulturalDC. CulturalDC despatched DCMTA a screenshot of this clause signed by each Maiselman (landlord) and Chalfant (tenant) in December 2020. The clause stipulates that the tenant should verify their intent to resume in writing, despatched by licensed mail, a minimum of 9 months previous to the tip of the lease time period. Each WIT and CulturalDC verify that WIT didn’t submit a written extension request 9 months previous to the tip of their present lease. 

Nevertheless, Chalfant tells DCMTA, “We’re not disputing the truth that we didn’t execute the extension clause. We’re clarifying that we didn’t accomplish that as a result of by fall 2021 Kristi Maiselman had already said that three-year extensions wouldn’t be potential, however {that a} one-year extension for all resident organizations was on the horizon. That was the understanding we have been all given and which was bolstered verbally on a number of events.” 

Chalfant additionally tells DCMTA that as just lately as three weeks in the past, CulturalDC scheduled a February 29 planning assembly in order that Supply’s three resident organizations — WIT, IN Sequence, and Constellation Theatre Firm — might meet to coordinate 2022–2023 programming dates in Supply’s black field theater. CulturalDC canceled that assembly the day earlier than it was to happen. Per week later, on March 2, Maiselman emailed Chalfant a lease-termination discover with the next message that Chalfant shared with DCMTA: 

“I’m sorry to ship this information since this isn’t what we had been discussing with residents. As you realize, our board has been actively engaged within the planning of the redevelopment of Supply. Over the previous a number of weeks, some issues have shortly shifted because it pertains to these plans and our renovation timeline. The board has been assembly this week to debate this, which is why I postponed the season planning conferences as I used to be not assured we might nonetheless supply a renewal to all residents. The board has determined that right now, with the best way that our building timeline and season planning intersected, it isn’t in the perfect curiosity of CulturalDC to resume WIT’s lease. I’m conscious of the influence this might have in your group and hope that we are able to use our actual property connections that will help you in your seek for new house if wanted.”

Chalfant says that is the primary he had heard of CulturalDC’s intent to terminate WIT’s lease. Maiselman tells DCMTA that this electronic mail and the lease termination that accompanied it have been a “routine expiration notification” despatched “for his or her data.”

Chalfant and Maiselman each verify that CulturalDC has been serving to WIT search for a everlasting residence. Previous to COVID, CulturalDC helped WIT apply for a everlasting house on the Waterfront Station II constructing in Southwest DC. That deal fell by when COVID modified WIT’s monetary scenario. 

WIT is CulturalDC’s longest-standing tenant. The group has rented house at CulturalDC’s Supply Theatre since CulturalDC bought the constructing in 2008. Previous to that, WIT rented house at Flashpoint, a constructing that CulturalDC beforehand owned and bought in 2016.

Chalfant emphasizes that he doesn’t wish to communicate badly of CulturalDC. “Legally they’ve accomplished nothing flawed. We have been simply shocked by how they communicated it. They instructed us we have been going to have one other 12 months after which in the midst of two days modified their minds. We’re their longest tenant they usually handled us fairly badly.” 

WIT usually performs in Supply’s 150-seat black field theater and makes use of house on the constructing’s second flooring for courses, occasions, and administrative workplaces. WIT is now searching for new areas for each its courses and performances.

Each IN Sequence and Constellation Theatre Firm confirmed to DCMTA this week that they may stay in residence at Supply and that their leases have been prolonged for one extra 12 months after the August 2022 deadline. 

Concerning the long run use of the house that WIT will vacate, CulturalDC tells DCMTA that it “will repurpose the house as artwork studios and mixed-use programming house for its community-geared nonprofit initiatives.” Most instantly, CulturalDC says, “the house shall be repurposed into artwork studio house for CulturalDC’s Capital Artist Resident program, which yearly offers an artist of shade with 1-3 months of advantages together with family-friendly housing; studio or rehearsal house; childcare coordination; stipend; and an exhibition within the Cellular Artwork Gallery.”

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