The Cambridge Center for the Arts will soon have a second home at Cambridge City Center Mall.
During the Cambridge Economic Development Authority meeting June 3, Economic Development Director Stan Gustafson said representatives from Cambridge Center for the Arts approached the city about leasing space at City Center Mall.
Gustafson explained if the EDA approves the lease agreement with the Center for the Arts, it would have to cancel its existing lease with Weight Watchers, which currently rents the space every Tuesday for $400 per month. He said the city is required to give Weight Watchers a 60-day notice to cancel the lease.
The Center for the Arts has its main office at 144 SE Second Ave. The organization aims to make the arts available to all in the community by offering a variety of art and music lessons for all ages, in classes and workshops, as well as a wide selection of theater performances, concerts, field trips and monthly art exhibits. Adult and youth theater opportunities are offered through Play Inc. Community Theater.
Following discussion, the EDA approved the three-year lease agreement with the Center for the Arts effective Aug. 1. The monthly rent will be $1,005 ($7.50 per square foot), with the utilities, insurance and property taxes paid by the tenant.
Arne Everson, president of the Center for the Arts, explained the Center is under the umbrella of the Cambridge Humanities and Education Foundation and is a nonprofit organization.
“We really need a bigger and better space,” Everson said. “We feel we would be a good tenant for the space and would bring positive traffic into the mall. We provide wonderful offerings to the citizens of Cambridge.”
Susan Jacobus, executive director of the Center for the Arts, explained the space at City Center Mall could serve as an art gallery, office space, class space, rehearsal space and more. Discussion took place regarding whether have an art display grace the public walls at City Center Mall if there were a way to protect and secure the artwork from any possible damage.
“This would be a leap of faith for us with the rent increase,” Jacobus added.
Everson said the Center for the Arts has been funded through private donations, membership fees and class fees.
“This whole thing has been a leap of faith,” Everson said. “We feel it’s a great opportunity for us to partner with the city.”
For more information on Cambridge Center for the Arts, visit http://www.cambridgecenterforthearts.org or call 763-691-9679. The Center is open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Thursdays from 4-8 p.m.
In other action, the council:
• Approved the development contract for Aldi Inc. Aldi is scheduled to open in the fall and will be located just east of Applebee’s.
• Heard a presentation from Public Works Director Steve Wegwerth on the City Park concept plans. The council indicated its desires and concerns with the plan, with those notes being directed back to the Park and Recreation Board.
• Approved the purchase of a 2012 Chevy Tahoe 4×4 for Police Chief Tim Dwyer and the purchase of a 2012 Chevy Tahoe 4×2 for Sergeant Todd Shuster for a not-to-exceed cost of $74,000. Funding for the vehicles, as well of their set-up and equipment costs, will come from capital outlay.