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Originally published September 16, 2008 at 12:00 AM | Page modified September 17, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Velocity Dance to move into the former Capitol Hill Arts Center

Velocity Dance Center, one of the arts tenants disrupted with the sale earlier this year of the Odd Fellows Hall, will be the new primary tenant of the space that formerly housed the Capitol Hill Arts Center at 1621 12th Ave., Seattle.

Seattle Times theater critic


Velocity Dance Center: Classes and events will continue this fall in rented facilities. More details: 206-325-8773 or

The Velocity Dance Center, one of the arts tenants disrupted with the sale earlier this year of the Odd Fellows Hall, is moving a few blocks away, into the space formerly run by the Capitol Hill Arts Center on 12th Avenue.

Velocity executive director Kara O'Toole says the leading Seattle modern dance organization has signed a 10-year lease, with a five-year renewal option, with the building's owner, Elizabeth Linke.

Velocity will occupy about 6,000 square feet in the 1621 12th Avenue building's ground floor, including a large performing space recently used for theater and music events. The restaurant Crave, also at street level, will remain under a separate lease. Two additional basement rooms, used by CHAC as a bar and a small cabaret, do not yet have occupants.

Since its formation in 1996, Velocity Dance Center has been located in a 7,000-square-foot space in the Odd Fellows Hall, also on Capitol Hill. After the recent sale of the Odd Fellows to Seattle developer Ted Schroth, the Velocity learned its rent would be doubled when its lease expired this month, and the nonprofit began looking for a more affordable space.

The former CHAC site is "great for dance," says O'Toole, though Velocity must raise roughly $500,000 for needed renovations. Architect Colin Walker, of the Seattle firm NBBJ, is doing pro bono design work to turn the space into two dance studios, a 100-seat theater, and office, storage and lobby areas.

O'Toole's goal is to begin programming events in the building in January 2009. "We're so excited about the move, and staying on Capitol Hill," said O'Toole.

Velocity will celebrate the end of its run in the Odd Fellows Hall with "The Big Bang!" a three-night roster of short performances by noted local dance artists, including Dayna Hanson, Molly Scott and Velocity co-founder KT Niehoff that runs Sept. 25-27.

Misha Berson:

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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