SOUTH FLORIDA BUSINESS JOURNAL: Kravis Center approved for $50M expansion (March 2018) | WGI

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March 2018

By   – Senior Reporter, South Florida Business Journal


The Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts will move forward with its $50 million expansion and renovation after receiving approval from the West Palm Beach City Commission on March 26.

Kravis Center

Located at 701 Okeechobee Blvd., at the entrance to the downtown area, the Kravis Center hosts more than 500,000 patrons a year to its performances. The nonprofit center hopes that the changes to its 853,500-square-foot facility will improve traffic flow, create an outdoor plaza that welcomes pedestrians, improve access to its parking garage, and improve signage from the street.

Under the plan, the Kravis Center would expand its lobby by 5,200 square feet, build more restrooms in the lobby, decorate the open plaza at Okeechobee Boulevard and Sapodilla Avenue with water features and a sculpture by Robin Oglesbee-Venghaus, build a second open plaza at Okeechobee Boulevard and Tamarind Avenue, build a new 200-space valet garage to replace the smaller amphitheater, and redesign the ramps in the existing parking garage. It will also add a way-finding technology system to help visitors find open parking spaces.

“As the population of the South Florida community has grown over the years, so has the number of visitors to the Kravis Center,” CEO Judith A. Mitchell said. “As always, our mission has been to serve as an economic catalyst and provide community stewardship in this region to increase travel and tourism to Palm Beach County. This expansion will accommodate a growing base of customers with expanded ease of accessibility to enjoy our schedule of performances.”

Construction should start in April and be completed in October 2019. Performances at the Kravis Center will go on as scheduled.

The expansion was designed by architecture firm Leo A Daly, with Wantman Group as the civil engineer. The Weitz Co. is the general contractor.

The Kravis Center launched a capital campaign to pay for the $50 million project.

“We are grateful to those in the community who had the vision to create and sustain the premier performing arts center, which now enjoys a renowned national and international reputation,” said John H. Kessler, secretary of the board for the Kravis Center. “In the last 25 years, the Kravis Center has contributed half a billion dollars to the local economy, sold 8 million tickets, provided free performances and complimentary transportation for over 2 million students, presented over 13,000 performances and has served as the catalyst for downtown revitalization. With plans for this new redesign, the future is even brighter.”

 Read the article on the South Florida Business Journal website here:

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